Campus security are warning students at a Hudson Valley college after an alleged coyote attack early Tuesday morning. A student was walking near a dorm at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, when what officials believe to be a coyote bit the student on the leg.

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) says that the Eastern Coyote is prevalent throughout the state, even in urban areas. They are “opportunistic omnivores,” meaning they hunt and scavenge, so they’re attracted to areas with food - be it human, pet, or garbage.

Students uploaded a video of the suspect coyote to social media. There may be a second animal off in the distance of the shoot. So far the animal has not been captured.

New York coyotes can travel alone up to an average family size of five or six. Coyotes are typically 4 to five feet long and weigh between 35 to 45 pounds. Random coyote fact: the animal has been in New York for less than a century – the state’s first coyotes were documented in the 1930s.

Coyotes in New York are most active in March and April as they protect the areas where they will have their pups, but they roam at all times of the year.

How To Prevent A Coyote Attack

The DEC says to always avoid a coyote’s approach if possible. If one is coming close, act aggressively. You should stand tall and hold your arms out from your body to look as large as possible while you make noise. If a coyote shows little to no fear of humans, contact your regional DEC office.

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A lesser-known way to deal with an aggressive coyote is to draw a tunnel on the side of a cliff and wait for it to run into the mountainside at full tilt. Or so I’ve heard.

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