Police offer coyotes safety tips after resident is surrounded


SWAMPSCOTT – Following an incident Saturday night where a resident and his dog found themselves surrounded by a group of coyotes, police shared tips on Sunday about interactions with coyotes, which have become increasingly common in the city.

Swampscott Police were called to Rockledge Road around 9.30pm Saturday after a resident reported he was surrounded by coyotes while walking their dog. The resident, whom police have not identified, said the group of coyotes were “not backing down,” police wrote in a statement posted on Facebook.

When police arrived, they observed at least nine coyotes, and the animals appeared to have been spooked by the approaching police cars and strobe lights. The police then escorted the appellant and his dog to their residence without incident.

“This guy was minutes away from having a bad situation that got worse, said Sgt. Jay Locke, a Swampscott police spokesman, noting that the resident who called police made efforts to ward off the coyotes but was unsuccessful. “He was horrified that the coyotes weren’t backing down in any way.”

Locke said coyotes aren’t a new phenomenon around Swampscott, but has noticed an increase in sightings.

“Every two years they kind of have a little increase in population, but that’s the most I’ve seen,” Locke said. “The ones we saw are in pretty good health, so they hunt and eat pretty well.”

Police did not know where the particular group of coyotes the resident encountered on Saturday lived, but Locke said he saw a group of about five people near the White Court Swampscott development on Littles Point Road around 3:30 a.m. Sunday.

“What makes the population grow is the food source,” he said. “They’re all over the city, not in any particular hotspot.”

The primary tactic recommended by police was hazing, where one “uses deterrents to move an animal out of an area or discourage unwanted behavior or activity” in an attempt to maintain fear of a coyote. towards humans.

“Using a variety of different hazing tools is essential so that coyotes do not habituate to redundant or unique stimulation devices, sounds and actions,” the statement said, suggesting noisemakers, projectiles like rubber batons and bullets, and pepper spray like potential. forms of hazing.

Residents are encouraged to be “loud and tall” in their hazing attempts, and police have suggested standing up, waving their arms, yelling at the coyote and even approaching if necessary.

“If a coyote hasn’t been misted before, it may not run away immediately when you yell at it. If this happens, you may need to walk towards the coyote and increase the intensity of the mist. your hazing,” the statement read. “The coyote may run away, but stop after a certain distance and stare at you. It is important to continue pursuing the coyote until it leaves the area completely.

Police have also suggested carrying homemade noisemakers, squirt guns or pepper spray while walking a dog as a means of repelling a coyote.

Keeping pets and pet food indoors remains the best way to ensure coyotes don’t end up in one’s yard, police said, suggesting residents try hazing if they don’t. they see a coyote in their yard.

Residents were warned to “never run away from a coyote”, and police noted that it might take one or two attempts to “confuse a coyote for good”.

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