By Carol Meyer
In response to a growing number of reports about the presence of coyotes in Hingham neighborhoods, town officials are taking steps to address what some residents say has become a crisis.
Animal Control Officer Leslie Badger is working with schools, neighborhood groups, and individual families to schedule educational sessions about coyotes and has been involved with coming up with an action plan for Foster School to deal with coyotes that live in the woods surrounding the school.
Coyote mating season was earlier this year, so young pups are around as well as adult coyotes. The increasing amount of development also plays a role.
Town officials have discussed possible solutions and have also contacted state agencies asking for information about pre-existing wildlife studies and the Environmental Police requesting a meeting with Hingham officials. "At that time, among other discussion topics, we plan to evaluate existing legislation and the pros and cons of any potential legislation [addressing this issue]," Assistant Town Administrator Michelle Monsegur said.
There are specific laws relating to trapping and also to shooting coyotes in the most extreme situations, thereby tying the hands of local animal control officers in how they are able to handle the overall situation and individual incidents.
Additional information about coyotes and also an online coyote sighting form are posted on the Hingham Police Department website at https://hpd.org/241/Coyotes. A coyote presentation and other details are available on the Animal Control Officer website. DO NOT call 911 or the police station business line to report seeing a coyote unless there is an emergency or immediate threat to humans.
Have you seen any coyotes? Why do you think there are so many around lately?