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Coyotes spotted in Wilmington, police respond

Police said that the presence of coyotes around Wilmington isn’t outwardly dangerous, as the animals are naturally afraid of people.

Several coyotes have been spotted around Wilmington, police said Monday. 

The Wilmington Police Department acknowledged complaints of coyotes they have received recently. They assured residents that Wilmington Animal Control is “aware and has been responding” to the sightings. 

Police said that the presence of coyotes around Wilmington isn’t outwardly dangerous, as the animals are naturally afraid of people, but added that residents can do their part to prevent altercations with coyotes from taking place.

“Help keep coyotes wild by scaring or threatening coyotes in your yard with loud noises, bright lights, or water sprayed from a hose,” Wilmington police wrote. “Coyotes that have become dependent on human-associated food can become habituated and exhibit bold behavior toward people.”

An image shared with NBC Boston shows an emaciated coyote on a Wilmington street.

This follows several canine deaths around Massachusetts as coyotes pack on weight to prepare for winter. In Sudbury, a 10-pound Shih Tzu was grabbed by two coyotes and carried off into the woods. A one-eyed pug in Concord was also a victim of a fatal coyote attack.

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But as long as residents avoid feeding coyotes and install proper fencing, their pets should be safe, authorities said. The Division of Fisheries and Wildlife also recommends tightly securing garbage, cleaning bird feeders to prevent attracting small mammals coyotes prey upon, and feeding pets indoors.

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