A small town in Massachusetts has asked the government for help in culling the coyote population that is terrorizing their town.
The community in Nahant, Massachusetts has been on edge as a roaming coyote population comes dangerously close to humans.
The New York Times reported that the coyotes have been "approaching children with unnerving frequency" in the small Massachusetts coastal town of about 3,000 people. There are an estimated dozen coyotes that have been part of this pack that has kept local residents on edge.
Nahant is described as "an island connected to the mainland by a narrow, 1.5-mile causeway," so the coyotes must enter and exit from the same causeway, assuming that the coyotes do not live naturally on the island.
One resident and daycare supervising adult says she doesn't want to have to make a terrible phone call to a parent, as she keeps an attentive eye over the children in these situations.
“I don’t want to have to make that phone call, to tell a parent, ‘The coyote picked your kid.’” -Kellie Frary, Nahant resident (Source: The New York Times)
Numerous Pets Have 'Gone Missing' or Attacked on Leashes
Pet owners are even more concerned, as about a dozen pets have gone missing in the past two years, and at least three attacks of coyotes on leashed dogs in 2022. (Source: The New York Times)
Out of caution, Kellie Frary purchased a "spiked coyote jacket" for her dog's protection, in case it is attacked while outside.
This is what pet owners have done to protect their beloved pets. Some local residents have been seen carrying baseball bats, whistles, and others have spent money to get spiked coyote jackets for their dogs, as resident Kellie Frary has done.
Another local dog owner, Lisa Wrenn, thinks the children of the town are at risk, after her very own dog, a 12-pound Chihuahua was snatched off of a leash while she stood on the stars and watched. She never saw her little dog again.
“I love animals, and I don’t want to see them killed, but some child on a porch is going to get taken.” -Lisa Wrenn (Source: The New York Times)
Nahant Voted to Enlist Federal Sharpshooters to Cull the Coyotes
The New York Times reported the "three-member Board of Selectmen voted to enlist federal sharpshooters to track and kill some of the coyotes, making Nahant the first municipality in Massachusetts to seek the expert help through a new state partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture."
This agreement is not without opposition.
Residents opposed to hiring federal sharpshooters have put up "Save the Nahant Coyotes" signs up near the causeway into Nahant.
One resident, Francene Amari-Faulkner, claims that "false claims, hysteria, and exaggeration" has caused the town to rush to these drastic measures. She believes it is a dangerous precedent.
“If the town brings in sharpshooters, it’s going to be a bloodbath,” she said, “because then other towns will say, ‘We can do that too.’” -Francene Amari-Faulkner, Nahant resident (Source: The New York Times)
Those that are for hiring federal sharpshooters have a Facebook group called "Nahant Coyote Victims" where people can post videos from their video cameras and even post videos from other places where there is a coyote problem to create more hysteria.
An example is when a group member posted a video from an ABC 7 News report in early December 2022 when a coyote is seen dragging a toddler away from a yard in Woodland Hills of Los Angeles, California.
Another example of a post on this group page is a link to "Project Coyote Lies," which is a website dedicated to "dispelling myths surrounding the killing of coyotes." (Source: Project Coyote Lies)
To be clear, there has not yet been a single report of a coyote attacking a human adult or child in Nahant. Coyote experts maintain that it is rare for a coyote to attack a human.
Please share this article on social media so others can stay informed.
ABC 7 News. "Coyote attacks young child on Woodland Hills front lawn, video shows." ABC 7 News. 3 December 2022.
Facebook page: "Nahant Coyote Victims."
Russell, Jenna. "A New England Town Invaded by Coyotes Calls in the Sharpshooters." The New York Times. 31 December 2022.
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