WAKEFIELD (CBS) – Over the last month, residents in the town of Wakefield have been seeing coyotes almost every day, including two sightings on Thursday.
Andrea Mello used to walk her dog around Lake Quannapowit in the mornings.
“About a week and a half ago I was walking him through the back trail here and we usually do early morning walks and I stopped doing that because we saw two coyotes and a pup,” Mello said.
Mello ended up changing up her routine because of the sighting.
“So now I switched my walk to around this time, the afternoon because I feel a little bit safer,” she said.
Mello knows she’s not the only one who has seen the coyotes around town.
“I hear that all of the time and I’ve seen it on Facebook and a lot of people are talking about it to be careful,” she explained.
Mothers enjoying the lake’s park with their children were in disbelief to find out the coyotes would come so close.
“It kind of makes me nervous to think that because we are always outside and yeah I’m not expecting to see coyotes around,” Kerri Connors said.
However, it’s not just happening at the lake. It’s happening all over the town of Wakefield. The latest Facebook posts say they’ve been seen off of Reynolds Road, Spruce Street, and Lafayette Street.
Philip Grady lives in one of those neighborhoods and says he has seen the same two multiple times.
“They travel in a pack the two of them, I saw them about a year ago, they are still together… the same two,” Grady explained.
“I thought they were two German Shepherds,” he added.
His wife, Terry, also spotted the coyotes.
“The other day one of them had a kill, my wife was hoping it wasn’t a little dog or something they caught,” he said.
The two have a small dog named Polo.
“He’s the ADT, security dog… he barks at anything. He’s not scared of them until they bite him,” Grady said.
That’s a chance the Grady’s aren’t willing to take when it comes to these coyotes.
“Never let him out without a leash you know if he wandered in the woods they’d get him. Not alone and we even have a leash run but we wouldn’t do that because they could sneak in the backyard and get him and that would be it,” he explained.
We reached out to the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife to find out more about coyotes.
“Coyotes are found in every town in Massachusetts,” David Wattles, a biologist for the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, explained.
“Having them in and around is not anything unusual at all. Having them being seen at any time of day isn’t unusual at all.”
Wattles says there have been only seven reports of coyotes attacking people and all of those cases suggest the animals were rabid.
“Coyote attacks on people are really exceptionally rare. Coyotes have an inherit fear of people even if they don’t appear like they do. Healthy coyotes aren’t going to attack people… you can’t ever say never but you know, it just doesn’t happen,” Wattles said.
“Small pets on the other hand, they absolutely will attack and opportunistically feed on if they have the opportunities. We highly recommend that people don’t let cats outside and don’t let dogs out unsupervised. Just the presence of a person on a leash is going to prevent a coyote attacking a pet,” Wattles added.
Wattles also suggested making yards less appealing to coyotes and reminding them people are the aggressors.
“Clean up your yards but then haze the animals anytime you see them, make loud noises, chase them off,” Wattles said.