Are there coyotes living in New Hope? The consensus: probably.
Coyotes have lived in Pennsylvania since the 1940s, spreading out to the suburbs during the 1980s and 1990s.
Believe it or not, the Eastern Coyote is a wolf/coyote mix that’s larger than the western type, and it first emerged in Canada, then migrated south. They’ve actually been moving into areas already occupied by humans, probably including New Hope.
Just this past week, a rumor circulated of a coyote sighting in a forested area near Old Mill Road.
A New Hope police official hadn’t heard of a sighting there, but said, “We have had sightings in Riverwoods, but not very recently.”
“There’s lots of coyotes in Solebury,” reported Solebury Police Detective Roy Ferrari. “I see them often.”
“We know they’re there,” said Cheryl Trewella, information and education supervisor for the Southeastern Region of the Pennsylvania State Game Commission.
“We picked up a road-killed coyote in Philadelphia,” she continued. “They have been around Bucks County for a long time. They’re very secretive and avoid people. You don’t see them, but they’re there.
“Contact with humans is very rare,” added Trewella. “They’re opportunistic, feeding on both animals and plants — mice, berries, insects — and even dead stuff.”
They’ve been also known to go after the occasional neighborhood cat left outdoors overnight, but that’s about as threatening as they get, according to the experts. Keeping garbage cans closed and Fluffy in the house at night may be good ideas, in any event.
And here’s a tip if you’re hankering to spot one: coyote paw prints are much like that of a domestic dog, but their scat is very different. Find out more at the P.A. Game Commission.