Coyote captured on video in Waterbury park

WATERBURY -- It seems like every day people are having close encounters with wildlife.

And, a Waterbury woman’s video of a coyote prancing through a city park has drawn a great deal of interest. However, city sightings are not that unusual.

Monday morning, in Waterbury's Hamilton Park, the woman shooting the video had just dropped her son off at a summer camp nearby.

"I thought he was beautiful," said Jill Bascetta of Waterbury. "So, I pulled over."

She was surprised to see the coyote in Waterbury, but a woman walking her German Shepard, Bud, in Hamilton Park, was not.

"One time, I thought he was chasing a rabbit," said Stef Betancourt of Waterbury. "He was chasing a coyote."

With the massive, ongoing road construction project on I-84, in Waterbury, might this be a reason for increased wildlife sightings?

"Urban wildlife are vulnerable to habitat loss," said Chris Vann, a wildlife biologist with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). "However, most urban and suburban wildlife have adapted."

Jill Bascetta recorded the video because she felt an obligation to alert others in her community "because one of my girlfriends had her dog taken by a coyote last year."

Waterbury Animal Control is posting notices in each of the city's 30 parks sharing the best ways to address an approaching coyote.

"Shouting, clapping, waving your arms acting aggressive approaching an animal to cut it off and show who is the boss," said Vann.

"I wouldn’t come up here with a little dog, with a child, without a big dog," said Betancourt.

There were 32,000 views of Bascetta's video in just 14 hours on the FOX61 Facebook page.

"That’s crazy. I think I’m famous now," Bascetta said, laughing.