SWAMPSCOTT (CBS) — A coyote attack in Swampscott over the weekend has prompted warnings from police and animal control officers.
Residents are being advised to walk with a noise-maker and keep pets on short leaches if they are in the woods.
On Saturday night, a teenager was bitten by a coyote in a wooded area near Burpee Road and upper Jackson field.
While it is extremely important to be cautious, one animal control officer told WBZ-TV she did not want the incident to scare people or cause hysteria.
“People need to respect the urban wildlife. Take care of your trash, don’t leave pets out unattended, don’t feed wildlife: we have an ecosystem here that supports only a certain number of animals,” said Animal Control officer Diane Treadwell.
Coyote sightings are common, especially in this area and this time of year, said Treadwell, but attacks are rare.
Whitney White, who lives next to the woods where the attack occurred, can attest to that. “I walk every day. My kids walked with me in these woods for years. We’ve been here 35 years…I’ve never in all that time heard of a person being attacked. We’ve had cats go missing and I think once a few years ago there was a dog,” he told WBZ-TV.
According to Treadwell, these animals are typically scared of humans. “Coyotes are very shy animals. This [attack] is a little perplexing, again, we haven’t had any reports of any sick coyotes.”
She added, “I want people to know that the coyotes are here to stay and they are a valuable part of our ecosystem…people need to respect wildlife.”