Advice from ACO Leslie Badger on “Social Distancing” from Coyotes

Photo by Dylan Ferreira

May 14, 2020

It's that time a year again. Around May in Hingham each year, reports of daytime coyote sightings start bouncing around social media. Some years there are more sightings in one neighborhood or another, but this year (as it is in so many ways) is a little bit different. The Anchor recently caught up with everybody's favorite Animal Control Officer, Leslie Badger to learn more.

Generally, in April and May, coyote pups are born which causes more sightings as the Coyote mamas head out in search of food. Understandably, much like human parents, coyotes are more protective as their young start to venture out on their own in late spring and early summer. Because of the changes to their pack this time of year, coyotes also tend to stand their ground when confronted by humans or pets, when they would otherwise be a bit more skittish.

In 2020, however, in addition to their usual habits, another phenomenon is taking place amongst our local Coyote neighbors, according to ACO Badger. "As more and more humans are getting out of the house during the day to take walks in local parks and forests, more coyotes are being pushed out of those areas to look for food. Since usually busy local areas like Downtown Hingham are quiet, the coyotes have been seen trotting down Main street."

Photo by Ben Mater

A little perspective, in Leslie Badger's history as ACO there have not been any confirmed coyote attacks on humans. "With proper precautions, you shouldn't worry much about an unprovoked coyote attack. You should however, remain vigilant when you are outside and make sure not to leave pets alone, as they are at greater risk," Badger shares.

"With many people worrying about the annual uptick in coyote sightings, it is important to remember that we share this town with our wildlife," Badger comments. "Additionally, before you consider calling about sightings, please remember that Animal Control will not be able to eliminate or remove a coyote from the area unless it is sick or injured. When you spot a healthy coyote, simply make loud noises and make yourself as big as possible. Stay consistent and don't stop until you've scared the coyote out of the area. If the coyote is drooling or circling, it may be sick, and that is when it is appropriate to call Animal Control."

Photo by Hans Veth

Fun facts about coyotes:
Coyotes mate for life and are monogamous
Coyotes are devoted and caring parents
Coyotes can help rid your property of rodents that cause property damage and health problems
Coyotes are great swimmers
Coyotes live to be 10-14 years old in the wild
Coyotes have 5 to 7 pups. Both male and female coyotes care for the pups in their den
Coyotes can run up to 40mph
Coyotes can breed with domestic dogs
Both male and female care for the pups in their den

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