Coyotes on the prowl in Massachusetts

Is there a road runner in the area? Because there are a lot of coyote sightings these days.

Yes, coyotes are on the prowl in Massachusetts. But what should you do if you see one?

Not a lot of people know. And it’s getting a little scary out there.

A fifth-grade girl in Hingham was chased by a coyote while walking her dog before school Tueday, Oct 4.

“The coyotes are walking down the middle of the street. They’re walking by South Elementary School in the middle of the day,” Alison Fabella, who lives in Hingham, told She also has seen them at the bus stop and in her backyard.

Fabella said she was chased by a coyote when she was out walking her dog last week, reported.

Meanwhile, several dogs have been attacked by coyotes in Cohasset.

On Aug. 27, two off-leash dogs were attacked by a group of seven coyotes. One of the dogs had to be put down because its injuries were so severe. That same day, a man and his two off-leash dogs were attacked by coyotes, sending the man to the hospital, according to

Then, on Sept. 29, a Cohasset Dachshund was nearly killed after a coyote jumped a four-foot fence to attack it.

So what does a coyote look like? I mean, they kind of look like dogs, right?

Well the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife described them like this:

“The eastern coyote resembles a medium-sized dog in body size and shape, but has longer, denser fur and pointed, erect ears. The tail is long, black-tipped, and bushy. A typical coat color is a grizzled gray but can vary from creamy blonde to red or nearly solid black. Weights for females are 33–40 pounds, while males typically weigh 34–47 pounds.”

“Coyotes often look heavier than they are because of their thick fur.” (Reminder to me: fur coats make you look chubs.)

Here are some tips to avoid dangerous run-ins with coyotes:

  • Don't Feed Them

    OK. This is a no-brainer folks. Coyotes are like the neighborhood kids. If you feed them, they come back. And then you can’t get rid of them.

    Coyote Attacks on the Rise

    Coyote Attacks on the Rise

  • Protect Your Pets

    Keep your pets leashed. And a fence doesn’t necessarily mean safety. Never leave your pet outside unattended. Also, domestic cats should stay indoors. And an electric fence only works one way, people. So keep that in mind.

    Coyote on a Golf Course

    Coyote on a Golf Course

  • Don't Run

    Instead of running, shout or throw something in its direction. But don’t play victim. Be aggressive.

    Coyote couple stalking neighborhood

    Coyote couple stalking neighborhood

  • Report a Sighting

    According to Urban Coyote Research, when a coyote fails to exhibit fear of humans or acts aggressively, the animal should be reported as soon as possible to the appropriate officials. “It is recommended that towns have a procedure in place to handle these reports. Signs of aggression are similar to those shown by domestic dogs and include agitated barking (unprovoked), raised hackles, snarling, growling, and lunging. These behaviors are usually preceded by other indications as shown in the chart below, though may change seasonally.”

    Coyote stalking pets

    Coyote stalking pets

  • One last thing: This is a pretty good movie.

    Too bad the bar is closed. No more bar dancing and swinging bras! But not a bad movie!

    Piper Perabo In Coyote Ugly Photo: Frank Masi/Smpsp Touchstone Pictures & Jerry Bruckheimer Inc

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