Local

Large coyotes becoming a common sight in Boston area, and they appear to be getting bigger

BOSTON — Two coyotes were just hanging out in a Brighton backyard when Jillian Campbell got home from work a couple of weeks ago.

“That was my first thought, this is way bigger than a coyote I’ve ever seen,” said Campbell.

So big that she just sat in her car, wondering.

“My first thought was ‘How am I going to get into my house?’” she said.

No one was home, so she shot video on her phone to prove she wasn’t seeing things.

“Yeah, it was weird. I stayed in my car for 15-20 minutes and they just didn’t leave,” said Campbell.

She kept taking videos of her visitors and then posted about it on social media.

And that’s when a lot of people chimed in about the size of the coyotes.

“They’re well fed,” one person wrote.

“That they’re coy-wolves — a mix of coyotes and wolves,” another said.

Others agreed that “They’re so big they’re definitely wolves.”

A Mass Wildlife expert told us the real reason they look so big is their winter coat.

“If you look at that same animal in the summer it looks a fraction of the size because that coat is fluffed up and it adds several inches of just fur in all dimensions,” said Dave Wattles, who is a black bear and furbearer biologist for the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game.

Whittles says it’s not uncommon to coyotes in the city.

“In reality, no it’s not unusual to have them seen in almost any neighborhood of Boston,” he said.

That was news to Campbell because this was her first run-in.

She says that after 20 minutes when it appeared the coyotes were relaxed, she made a move to go into her home.

“They were laying down and sleeping and I just slowly walked backward away from them into the house,” she said.

Coyotes are all over according to Whittles…

“It’s important to remember these coyotes were born and raised in Boston. So, they’re used to people and they’re used to traffic and the sights and sounds of a modern city.”

We have even seen them at Boston 25 News when one wandered through our parking lot Sunday night and headed for the gate. All of it was caught on our surveillance cameras.

Wattles offered some tips to prevent any coyote conflict:

  • Remove all food sources around the home like bird feeders and pet food.
  • Haze coyotes and drive them off. Yell, scream, and make loud noises to keep them from getting comfortable.
  • Protect your pets. Keep them on a leash because just watching them from the porch opens them up to an attack.

There’s a new webpage MassWildife has for the public which includes plenty of tips and information for residents about coyotes.

Keep these in mind as coyotes are now common sights even in urban areas.

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