Cohasset officials warn residents following two reported coyote incidents
COHASSET – Chief William Quigley reports that the Cohasset Police Department is warning residents following two reported incidents with coyotes in the town.
On August 27, Cohasset police received two reports of incidents involving interactions with coyotes. In the early morning hours of August 27, Cohasset police were dispatched to a residence on Highland Avenue for an incident involving seven coyotes and two dogs. The dogs were off leash when approached and attacked by coyotes. One of the dogs involved in the incident was euthanized due to serious injuries from the attack.
Officers also learned that later in the day at around 8:30 a.m. a man and his two dogs, also off leash, were on the blue trail in Whitney Thayer Woods near Brass Kettle Creek when they were attacked by a coyote. . The man went to hospital following the incident and has since been treated and released.
“Coyotes are active all year round and we generally see increased activity in the spring, however, before winter we also see a lot of coyote activity as they hunt in preparation for the winter months,” said natural resources manager Josh Kimball. “To keep our community members safe, we encourage residents to be aware of their surroundings and watch their pets at all times. Often wild animals see small pets as potential food and larger pets as competition, so they attack. We encourage residents not to let these animals intimidate you, and if you encounter a coyote you should scare them away immediately.
To watch a video of Natural Resources Officer Kimball discussing tips on how to prevent coyote encounters, click here.
Cohasset Police would like to share these tips from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and Division of Fish and Wildlife to safely avoid interactions with coyotes:
- Never feed coyotes or do anything to attract them. Coyotes depend on natural food and generally remain feral and suspicious of humans.
- Prevent coyotes from accessing food sources:
- Food, including snacks, pet food, birdseed, and food-related waste can attract coyotes and other wildlife. Left outside, these foods encourage wildlife to visit residential areas.
- Only feed pets indoors and keep trash cans and garbage cans clean and trash cans covered
- Spend time outdoors. Coyotes generally try to avoid humans, and their natural fear is enhanced when play areas, backyards, and paths are actively used by people. The regular presence of people acts as a deterrent to coyotes.
- Protect pets from coyotes. Although free-ranging pets are more likely to be killed by automobiles than by wild animals, coyotes view cats and small dogs as potential food and large dogs as competitors. For the safety of your pets, keep them on a leash and under your supervision at all times. Also consider feeding your pets indoors to avoid attracting wildlife.
- If you encounter a coyote, Project Coyote recommends taking steps to scare it away – these steps are known as hazing:
- Stand your ground: Make eye contact and walk towards the coyote while actively hazing it until it retreats. Give him room to retreat.
- Make sure the coyote is focused on you as the source of danger. Don’t walk away from a building or car where he can’t see you clearly.
- Continue your hazing efforts, even if there is more than one coyote present.
- Use multiple tools, such as loud sounds, light, and exaggerated movements.
- Hazing should be exaggerated, assertive and consistent.
- Coyotes have routine habits, so note when and where you encounter them. Ask your neighbors to help you scare them away.
- If a coyote appears sick or injured, do not attempt to scramble it.
- Hazing should be avoided from March through July, as well as if the coyote is within a comfortable distance or if you encounter a coyote in an open area where a den may be nearby. You should confuse a coyote if it approaches you or if you see it walking comfortably through a neighborhood or park.
For more information on coyote protection, click here.
Residents who encounter coyotes should call Natural Resources Officer Kimball at 781-383-1212 or 9-1-1 for emergencies, or 781-383-1055 ext. 6125 for non-urgent matters.