With winter in full swing, the Dedham Police Department has released facts and guidelines about what to do if coyotes are spotted in and around Dedham.
Residents are asked to report any unusual wildlife behavior to the Dedham Animal Control at 781-326-1212, the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife or the Massachusetts Environmental Police.
Below is a list of facts on coyotes as well as frequently asked questions about what to do if a coyote has been spotted.
Facts about Coyotes
- The Coyote is a member of the same family to which foxes, dogs and wolves belong, the canids.
- The Eastern Coyote is found in Massachusetts.
- Coyotes vary in size depending on location but generally are 4 to 4 ½ feet long, including the tail and stand 18-25 inches tall and weigh 20-50 pounds.
- A Coyote may be grey, brown or tan above and whitish underneath with a straight, bushy tail.
- Coyotes are adaptable and can live in a wide range of climates and conditions and are found in all states except Hawaii.
- Coyotes are omnivorous and make use of an astonishing variety of plant and animal foods including, meat, garbage, insects, rodents, rabbits, birds, deer and even berries and fruits.
- Coyotes play an important part in controlling rodents.
- Coyotes breed during February or March and give birth in April or May. The pups usually mature quickly are fully independent at about nine months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Should I be concerned about coyotes attacking either me or my pets?
Answer: Generally coyotes are extremely shy and avoid contact with humans. In urban and suburban areas, coyotes may be less likely to fear people and more likely to associate them with easy, dependable food source. Pets however, especially cats and small dogs, are seen by coyotes as a food source and should be protected.
Question: What can I do to protect my pets from Coyote and other wild animals.
Answer: Never feed a wild animal. Avoid any contact with wild life. Keep trash securely covered or indoors. Feed pets inside or supervise outdoor feedings, and keep area clean. Keep cats and dogs indoors, especially at night, or stay outside with them.