Around 9:30 am on Easter Sunday morning, a coyote was spotted at the top of the Cranston Street near Sheridan Street. When it saw a person, it fled down the cliff to Paul Gore Street, where it was sighted a second time.
Jack Chapin from the Massachusetts Environmental Police came out to investigate. Chapin talked with the person who had seen the coyote and concerned Cranston Street residents. Here is a summary of the information he shared with us.
The eastern coyote has reappeared in Boston and it is most likely here to stay. Because critical mass has been reached, even if one coyote is removed, another will take its place. Because of this, Chapin said, in some ways it's better to figure out how to deal with the coyote we know than one we don't know, as bizarre as that sounds!
The good news is that the coyote that was spotted Easter morning reacted normally to seeing a human being -- it took a look and then ran away as fast as it could. It was not aggressive or threatening. Chapin says we want to do everything we can to keep it that way. What this means is that we should not make it easy for the coyote to find food in our yards or on the street. Keep your garbage pails and compost piles securely covered and don't leave cat or dog food outside. The coyote will most likely leave larger animals alone, but it will see cats, small dogs, squirrels, raccoons, possums, and other small animals as prey. Coyotes hunt during the day, not just at night, and they hunt alone, not in packs.
Chapin emphasized that coyotes are naturally afraid of humans. Yelling, making a lot of noise, jumping up and down, waving your arms, and throwing things will usually scare them off. If they have been fed by humans, however, they may have lost their fear. Those are the coyotes that we need to be most concerned about and that the Environmental Police will attempt to remove.
The state has prepared an informational leaflet and it can be found here:
Please forward this link widely! Chapin said there is no need to report every coyote sighting, particularly if the coyote runs off as it should. But if anyone sees a bold coyote in the neighborhood, definitely call 911 or the Mayor's Hotline (617) 635-4500 and they will know what to do.