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Coyotes sightings on the rise in Swampscott

SWAMPSCOTT — A Swampscott resident walking his dog came face-to-face with a coyote on Thursday night.

The unidentified resident got close enough to the creature where he was able to kick it away to protect himself and his dog, according to a Facebook post by the Swampscott Police Department. The coyote approach happened just after 10 p.m. on Mostyn Street.

“They have been around a lot more in town,” said Swampscott detective of 17 years Candace Doyle. “They’ve been around the golf course, the cemetery, the neighborhoods surrounding those areas, and even by the train station. They’re around at all hours, even during the day.”

On their social media post, the department shared a link to the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife’s tips on how to live with eastern coyotes.

To avoid attracting coyotes, do not feed or try to pet them, secure your garbage, keep bird feeding areas clean, close off crawl spaces under porches and sheds, cut back bushy edges, protect livestock and produce, and don’t hesitate to scare or threaten them with loud noises, bright lights, or hose-sprayed water.

For pet owners, the division suggests keeping pets leashed when outside and avoiding outdoor feeding.

Marion Larson, chief of information and education for Mass Wildlife, said coyotes are all over the state, except in Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. The eastern creatures have inhabited Swampscott for a long time, according to her.

“(One of the) major attractions for them is available food,” said Larson. “It is not very often that a coyote is going to come up to a person with a dog on a leash. It does happen, but not that often. The coyote being close enough where a person could kick it is not a good sign but it is a good sign it ran off because that means it’s not a rabid animal.”

The wildlife division and the Swampscott Conservancy are hosting a “Living with Coyotes” discussion on Tuesday, Feb. 5. The event will be held from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Swampscott Public Library.

“We are in the middle of breeding season for coyotes,” said Larson. “The last few weeks of January through mid-February is the peak breeding season, so there is a lot more activity.”

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