The moose are loose! Although it’s hard to discern just yet whether that refers to sightings of multiple antlered rovers or a singular mammoth meanderer stomping his way across Westchester. But late last week, yet another report surfaced of the typically elusive creature wending its way through Ossining. This, after similar human-on-moose encounters in Bedford and Milwood. It’s a puzzling development, given the rarity of these once plentiful plant-eaters in this part of New York State. Then again, all manner of unusual mammals and airborne things seem to be seeking higher ground in the lower Hudson Valley of late. We’ll save any back-and-forth about which species is encroaching on the other’s territory for another time, but in the interim, here are a handful of recent, irregular wildlife cameos in our county that suggest our adjacent proximity to Manhattan doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods.
A Grizzly Scenario
OK, it wasn’t that unsettling, but parents, teachers, and kids certainly had cause for pause when a black bear announced itself near the grounds of an Ossining elementary school this past June. Fortunately, no one was harmed, so we feel comfortable quipping about the inability to decrypt precisely what the animal averred, as there was no bear-to-English translator on hand.
We’ve been tracking these menacing wolf relatives’ footprints across Westchester for several years, but in towns like New Castle, residents are currently calling in sightings by the dozens, and tragically, there have been instances of area dogs being attacked and killed. Overdevelopment on long-untouched habitats can certainly contribute to a preponderance of predators in our backyards, but building isn’t likely to be curbed any time soon, so be advised to construct your fences high and keep domestic pets leashed at all times.
Video courtesy of CBS New York
Where Eagles Dare
As it happens, these no-longer-near-extinct symbols of Americana have been playing a game of chicken with pilots at Westchester County Airport. One audacious bird stared down a taxied plane on the tarmac earlier this summer, but there were close to a dozen sightings of the two-toned fliers last year as well. Air horns and other noise-makers are the airport’s repellents of choice, though we all know about a determined eagle’s bald ambition.
What About Bobcat?
Unfortunately, the answer to that is they’re rearing their imposing feline heads in towns like Somers and Mount Pleasant. As it turns out, these intimidating prowlers are pretty much scaredy cats. Hell, you can even domesticate them. Though you probably shouldn’t. Nor do we suggest even approaching them should one be on or near your property. But hey, at least they’re not as terrifying as mountain lions. Lucky for us, those beasts prefer to mark their territory in Putnam.