Town Crier

TEWKSBURY — Dur­ing this time of year, coy­otes are frequently spotted throughout Tewks­­bury and the State of Mas­sachusetts as a whole. Territorial animals, coyotes can often be seen be­tween dawn and dusk patrolling their territory, often in proximity to lo­cal homes and businesses.

This proximity likely stems from loss of the animal’s natural habitat. Massachusetts is among the most densely populated states in the na­tion, losing roughly 40 acres of land a day to de­velopment on average. As their natural habitat decreases, human interactions increase, for coyotes are drawn to neighborhoods in search of food and water. In general, these resources are generally available in ur­ban and suburban areas.

Though typically afraid of humans, coyotes can pose a threat to smaller animals, including common housepets. Coyotes are known to attack and kill pets, notably cats and small dogs (less than 25 pounds). Conse­quently, it is generally re­commended for pet owners to supervise and/or leash dogs when outside, and keep cats indoors.

Though apt to threaten pets, coyotes typically are afraid of humans. If one enters a homeowner’s yard, the MSPCA re­commends making loud noises (like banging pots and pans together), spray­ing it with a hose, and/or tossing tennis balls near the animal in order to frighten it away. How­ever, in general, the risk of coyote attacks are ex­tremely low so long as proper precautions are taken.

The town has taken action in the past to educate residents on the presence of coyotes in the community. Back in February of 2019, Tewks­bury Animal Control held a presentation at Town Hall titled: “Living with Coyotes.” The presentation was conducted by John Macguranis, Bel­mont ACO and Massa­chu­setts Representative for Project Coyote.

Among topics discus­sed were Pet and Human Safety, Myths and Facts, Natural Behavior, and Habits and Diet.

Additionally, town residents often inform each other of coyote sightings through local facebook pages, such as “Tewks­bury Wildlife” or “Tewks­bury MA Residents.”

To learn more about how to successfully coexist with coyotes without negative consequences, Project Coyote proves to be a good resource. Their website, found at, offers information about coyotes and other wild dogs as well as ways to peacefully coexist. Addi­tional information canbe found through the MSPCA’s website:

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