For 40 years, Ann Tolkoff never imagined seeing a coyote in her hilltop neighborhood near Coolidge Corner, a densely settled area where the Prudential Center is in clear view.
But over the past year, the rangy scavenger has become a regular, unsettling presence, foraging through garbage, attacking small pets, even lurking menacingly along residential streets.
“If I let my dog run in my backyard, it could be capital punishment,” said Tolkoff, a retired schoolteacher.
As the ranks of coyotes have expanded in the Boston suburbs, where backyards provide an abundant food supply, concern over the influx has risen in kind. In Brookline, Newton, and Belmont, where coyote sightings have become more frequent, residents are urging town officials to take steps to control the population, and increasingly taking precautions with their pets and even young children.
Editor’s Note: The original article contains considerable misinformation about coyote behavior, completely ignoring the ethology of habituated populations and individual animals. –Don Zaidle, editor-in-chief