Residents have reported an increase in coyote sightings in Morris Plains neighborhoods.  As a result, the Borough of Morris Plains reached out to the NJ Fish and Game and the USDA Wildlife Services – NJ Division for guidance on how to protect residents from wild animals.  

First off, if you or your family are in immediate danger and/or are being attacked by any wild animal, you are urged to call 911 for an immediate dispatch of police assistance. If you have a concern or want to report a coyote sighting, please call the Morris Plains Police Department at 973-538-2284.

Coyotes are in all 21 counties in NJ.  The USDA Wildlife Services has not reported an increase in coyote activity, but they have documented an increase in coyote reporting’s since many people are home more and out in their neighborhoods due to Covid.  

The USDA Wildlife Services cannot remove wild animals just because they are roaming in neighborhoods.  They will only activate their services if a coyote or other wild animal attacks a resident.  Residents can hire a trapper to come in to remove the coyotes, but there is no guarantee that this will eliminate coyotes in neighborhoods.  

 To help ward of coyotes, the USDA Wildlife Services recommend the following tips:

  • Remove any food items including food left out for out for cats, bird feeders, uncovered garbage as these are often found when coyote come close to homes. 
  •  Cutback any overgrown hedges and remove any leaf piles or brush that may serve as burrow for small animals that coyote prey on like rabbits, squirrels and chipmunks.
  • Coyotes are fearful of loud noises, so using an airhorn or banging pots and pans will scare them away.  Spraying them with a hose or putting on your lawn sprinkler will deter them as well.  

The USDA Wildlife Services has been made aware of the coyote problem in Morris Plains and has set up a dedicated line so our residents can reach out through this direct phone number, (908-735-4513) for any additional questions or information.