City of Malden and Animal Control hosting informational event at Forestdale School; presentation open to locals and nonresidents
They’re here… and they’re here to stay.
It is safe to say you do not have to look far after the sun goes down to see a coyote in many communities in Massachusetts – including Malden.
In an effort to spread more and better information about coyotes and how we can live with and handle interactions with them, the City of Malden and the Malden Police Department/Animal Control are hosting a special presentation on coyote behavior and concerns for anyone from the region interested in this topic. Residents from all three cities sharing a border with Malden in the Advocate readership area – Everett, Saugus, Revere – are welcome as well. “Living with Coyotes” will be hosted at the Forestdale K-8 School auditorium in Malden on Thursday, January 26, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The Forestdale School is located at 74 Sylvan St.
Along with city officials, including Officer Kevin Alkins from Animal Control and others from the Malden PD, on hand will be MassWildlife Biologist Charlie Bird. Bird will be discussing coyote behavior and ways Malden residents can avoid and reduce any intrusive behaviors from these animals. A question-answer session will be included as part of the presentation. Informational handouts will be available as well.
The Malden Police Department encourages all residents to consider attending “Living with Coyotes.” For more information, contact the Malden Police Department at (781) 397-7171 x1302.
“There will be a great deal of information presented at this event and this is a topic that we deal with on a daily basis,” Officer Alkins said.
“We have had coyote sightings and coyotes roaming here in Malden and all around in surrounding communities for many years,” Officer Alkins told the Advocate. “This will be a great opportunity for people to [learn] first-hand information from those who study wildlife every day. We hope many residents consider attending the presentation on January 26.”
The coyote issue is one that is nationwide. Coyotes, wildlife experts attest, can be found in every state in the nation, except Hawaii. There are an estimated 5.3 million coyotes in the United States, with up to 19 species and subspecies, according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
As for a threat factor, coyotes traditionally are not a threat to humans. There has been only one coyote attack on a human reported in Massachusetts in the past 50 years: in July of 1998, on four-year-old Daniel Neal of Sandwich, Mass., while he was playing on his swing set. Nationwide, there are under 10 attacks on humans per year, despite the five million-plus coyote number nationwide.
While coyote attacks on humans are so rare, they are a serious threat to other wildlife, including domestic pets. Coyotes see domestic pets like cats and dogs as a food source. Any other wildlife is considered the same by coyotes.
While coyotes have been around for about one million years, according to experts, it is a fairly new phenomenon for them to be appearing in such large numbers in urban settings. Loss of habitat through construction projects continues to expand into coyotes’ natural habitat. As coyotes move closer to more densely populated areas, the animals are still on the hunt for food. They could be hunting for scraps of food or pets.
Information on these points and others regarding coyotes will be presented at “Living with Coyotes” on January 26. The event is free of charge and there is no preregistration required.