• Animal experts say drought could cause increased coyote activity

    By: Jim Morelli

    Updated:

    ASHLAND, Mass. - An 81-year-old woman and her 93-year-old husband they are heartbroken after watching a coyote snatch their 16-year-old cat, and drag it into the woods.

    Loretta Scanlon told FOX25 she chased after the coyote in attempt to rescue the pet.

    “You know, I was a nurse for years and I've seen a lot of horrible things in the OR... but this is... this is something different. You know, this is horrible,” she said.

    Residents of the Scanlon’s Ashland neighborhood told FOX25 thee has been more coyote activity this year than any year they can remember.

    Wildlife experts say drought conditions sometimes force animals to seek water in new places.

    In California, which has experienced a long and severe drought, this translated into an increase in coyote sightings in neighborhoods. 

    “Drought can certainly cause wildlife to be stressed and be looking for available water resources wherever they are,” David Mizejewski from the National Wildlife Federation said.

    Massachusetts state officials, however, say the drought here is not the same as the drought on the west coast.

    In fact, State Wildlife Biologist Trina Monuzzi tells FOX25 high coyote activity in summer is actually normal.

    “The young are actually learning how to hunt,” she said. “What we do have is a lot more of the small mammals which are their main prey source -- especially this year.”

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