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Coyote, fox sightings on rise locally

K-9 cop: Watch out for yourBy Chris Stevens/The Daily ItemSAUGUS-Pet owners beware – it is not a good time to be walking along the railroad tracks or in the woods with your pets, according to K-9 Officer Harold Young.The number coyote and fox sightings have skyrocketed this spring and Young said pets, especially small ones, look like food to a coyote.Young said he has been receiving steady calls concerning coyote and foxes since January, but with spring litters now romping about, the calls have been coming in almost daily.”(Tuesday) I got a call from Hull Drive about a mother and fox pups running around having a good old time,” Young said.Between January and April Young said coyote sightings were reported in the Golden Hills area and around the Evans School, Fairchild Avenue, Hurd and Central streets, Mountain Avenue and one was struck on Water Street.By May, the sightings not only included coyote pups, but families of foxes as well.”May 21 in the Bisbee Street area there were a bunch of foxes making a lot of racket,” Young said.Coyotes were spotted on Milano Drive on May 14 and again on May 20, this time a mother and five pups in a hedge on the edge of a resident’s backyard.”She wanted to know what could be done,” he said.Unfortunately, Young said unless the animals are clearly sick and there is really nothing he can do to keep the wildlife from encroaching into residential streets and yards.He said a woman called him regarding a coyote hanging out in her Birch Street backyard during the daylight hours.”Her yard backs up to Lynn Woods – she probably has a den back there,” Young said. “The woman said she was going to put vinyl siding on her house but now she’s putting up a five foot fence. I told her to make it six. An adult coyote can clear a five foot fence.”Young said the best thing residents could do regarding wandering wildlife is to be alert. Do not leave young children or pets unattended in the yard. Residents should also keep grills cleaned and covered, garbage cans securely covered and refrain from keeping any food outside at anytime.Young also said sightings of pups probably increased because this is the time of year mothers begin teaching their young to hunt.”We’ve had 16 different sightings and now we’re talking families of foxes and coyotes,” Young said. “People need to know they’re out there and walking your dog alone down the railroad tracks is probably not a good idea, or Pranker’s Pond either.”pets near woods

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