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Coyotes getting bolder in Boston hinterlands

This afternoon, somebody called police to report a coyote was just lounging on her rear porch on the Arborway up near Centre Street in Jamaica Plain

Shortly before 7 p.m., a woman called in from one of the paths in Stony Brook Reservation near the George Wright golf course on the Roslindale/Hyde Park line: She was walking her dog when she noticed two coyotes were following them. Before police could arrive, however, two men in the area spotted her and escorted her to safety. No word if either of them was named Elmer.

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Comments

and are very smart. They have kind of a swagger that is all their own. I've been meaning to cover Stony Brook. Sounds like a good time to do so.

Fall color is beginning in the cooler low lying areas where swamp maples live. I'll probably be chasing it.

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has told me the same thing. She is seeing coyotes that are huge and distinctly wolfish and several weeks ago a small pack of them killed a neighbor's new foal. Horrible. I can admire them from a distance but the idea of a bold, big predatory carnivore ready to take on a horse or a dog is more than I'm comfortable with.

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I guess it's within the realm of the possible, but I couldn't find any mention of such an event, which I think would certainly be reported. In fact, i can't find reference to coyotes killing any animal of that size east of the Mississippi in the last century.

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IMAGE(http://mysticriver.org/picture/coyotewithdeerheadatsuckerbrook_davidpallin_wildlife1.jpg)

You were saying?

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Don't know if you're city-bred or not anon, but growing up on a farm with lots of deep woodland about, I saw dogs, cats, coyotes, racoons, badgers, etc dragging off all sorts of shit they found in the woods - sometimes pieces of bigger animals. Doesn't make them an apex predator - just a scrounge.

Unless the neighbor in question actually witnessed the attack (in which case - wtf didn't they intercede?!), then I think it much much more likely that the foal died on its own, or was taken down by ill-bred dogs (which do regularly hunt in packs). I've seen both of those scenarios many many times.

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.. and the extent of critter on critter mayhem reportage.

Let me know where the stats on cat fights, porcupine road kills, number of chowed rabbits and shredded house pets can be found.

Is there data on cats that got the canaries too?

The absence of such stats may just indicate low significance to those who compile stats.

A fawn is as good as a foal for comparisons sake and a nice juicy fawn is veal to a coyote. Where are the fawn mortality stats when you need em.

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Some folks here are prone to "exaggeration" I've noticed.

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Yes--I sit here hour after hour trying to come up with thrilling stories to entertain folks like you, under my clever screen name. Adam actually pays me a handsome salary to invent this stuff.

Good lord--I have no idea why it wasn't in the news. It happened to her neighbor--they were twin foals and apparently the mare could only protect one and the coyotes got the other. Sorry to disappoint. If I'd spent more time I should have added in wings or a single glittering horn on the mare's brow or heroic hobbits.

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Your account is plausible at a bare minimum. The weight class and prey type falls within the range of things traditionally pulled down by wild canids.

And this gotcha hasn't exactly gone for a triple double gotcha by coming back with those fawn mortality stats I wondered about, so it can be declared a wash.

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In fact, i can't find reference to coyotes killing any animal of that size east of the Mississippi in the last century.

The eastern coyote is an evolving breed with an expanding range, so records from a hundred years ago may not mean that much. As for modern times, there's the consideration that when coyotes kill livestock (and they do), farmers generally deal with the problem on their own. They might call Mass Wildlife, which will tell them that in such circumstances they're authorized to kill the coyote out of season and without a permit, or they might report it to Mass Wildlife after the fact, but wildlife management in rural areas is a bit different than in cities or burbs.

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CHALLENGE ACCEPTED

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At least the coyotes in the Boston area aren't doing stuff like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aCgSwmm5Ho

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It was me. My dog, who's about the size of a coyote, and I were walking along and all of a sudden we see a coyote ahead. So we stopped and he started to slowly follow us. We started to slowly walk backwards. Then another one walked out of the woods and started coming toward us too. They kept getting closer. It was scary. One was grey and one was tan.

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and make noise. My tiny stepmother would scold them... "Bad Coyote..go home!!!" and it worked.
You're out of the meal range and might throw rocks.

It's opportunistic curiosity.

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More likely, it was an attempt to lure a dog to follow them. Friends in VT had big problems with that last winter. They have a pack that lives nearby, and when they'd walk the dogs, one or two coyotes would approach and try to lure the dogs to follow (and get jumped by the pack).

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Being CoyWolves, they were looking for a third for their gang.

Probably can't figure out what your dog saw in hanging with you, scary human!

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Most animals are looking for a meal, not a fight. We all have to choose when to fight and when to flight. Unless they're cornered, they'll pick an easier target. Yell, act tough, and dominate the situation will lead something like a coyote to run. They probably saw your dog as food more than you, so you have to basically teach them that'd be a bad idea.

Running is actually a bad idea as it lets them dominate the encounter and they're just going to follow until you're tired, make a mistake, or they see an opening.

The MSPCA says you're more likely to die from an errant golf ball than you are from a coyote attack. Since you were near George Wright, that may have been even more true. :)

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Wile E?

Glad all are well, sounds scary!

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This could really help resolve the unleashed dog problem in stony brook.

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The coyotes from Weld Street woods have been coming farther into our neighborhood the last month or so. I came in late one night and saw one on my neighbors lawn. First glance, I thought it was their dog. Upon a better look realized it was a coyote. About 10 minutes later we heard an 'altercation' between a coyote and a cat. Sad to say the cat likely was not the winner. Unfortunately, this is becoming more routine in our area. Horrible, haunting noise.

Not to many nights later, around 8:30 coyotes were seen in another neighbors yard on the same street. Troubling that they are coming so far out of their natural habitat, coming so close to human domain with no fear. And occurring so early in the evening now.

Some of our neighbors are not the least bit concerned....I say when normal lifestyle is affected then their 'normal' behavior is to change as well. Be aware of the changes and prepared to avoid a confrontation.

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Most wild mammals here are most active at the boundaries between night and day.

This is a faded track set I found frozen in the barrens along the North Station rail yards where the GLX is going. http://goo.gl/Inzggi

There are some good den areas there. These tracks were without any human tracks you'd see like with a security detail roaming.

They also held true to the difference between wild canids and dogs. Wild ones are very efficient in movement going from one investigation point to the next in the food search.

Dogs tend to go all over the place in their exuberance for outdoor play and lack of a need to worry about food.

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If you don't want coyotes in your neighborhood, you and your neighbors need to act responsibly and deny them the ready food source that they've obviously found. Don't let pets wander. Don't leave pet food or garbage outside. Run the coyotes off whenever you see them. Chances are, some idjit is actually leaving food out for them so that they can take pictures of the cute li'l critters. Coyotes are smart, people are dumb.

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...the fear here is a little weird for me. Coyotes, like most other wild animals, generally aren't actually a threat and are, as they say, more afraid of us than we are of them. We had chickens, horses, sometimes a rabbit or a duck on the property- all were fine. I thought coyotes were awesome- hearing them call at night, seeing them in the field up the street, etc.

The exception to their generally not posing a threat is, of course, that a rabid coyote is unpredictable and prone to attacking rather than running away. But so is a rabid raccoon, or opossum, or skunk, and nobody seems to consider them a major scary threat.

To finish my ramble, it's quite sad when any pet dies, but if you let your cats out to roam and one gets snatched up by a coyote, I have a hard time feeling much sympathy. For one thing, you're the one who let your cat out of the safety of your home...and for another, that's one less cat to have a huge negative impact on the local bird population.

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