MILTON, Mass. — A video posted on Facebook shows a big coyote stretching, seemingly undisturbed as he is being videotaped in the Blue Hills.
A Milton man captured the wild animal, leading some on social media to call it a coywolf, which is a cross between a coyote and a wolf.
But Norman Smith, director of the Audubon Society Trailside Museum, says they actually don't exist.
"Coyotes can be pretty big animals, especially the males. The males are bigger than the females," Smith said.
Beyond Facebook, there is also speculation that coywolves are real, but a North Carolina state zoologist says it's not a new species, but a hybrid.
"New genetic tests show that all eastern coyotes are actually a mix of three species: coyote, wolf and dog," said zoologist Roland Kays.
That's little relief to people like Laura Morrissey, who live right next to the Blue Hills and can hear them howling at night.
She once even encountered one while she was out for an evening jog.
"It was about 200 yards away… that was a little bit too close for me," said Morrissey, of Milton.
Tina Zabaleta lives here too and has for a long time. She's seen a big increase in wildlife including coyotes, so much so that she keeps her dog in at night.
"Yes, I won’t let him out by himself. No, no way," said Zabaleta.
That's wise, says Smith, who explains that coyotes won't normally go after pets.
"Especially this time of year, when they have pups or babies, they’re looking for sources and things to feed them. But they don’t primarily seek out cats and dogs. They primarily eat road kill and smaller animals," Smith said.
Cox Media Group