While January and February are usually the more dangerous months for coyote sightings, people in Arlington have been on edge after a series of coyote attacks have targeted children and pets.
Most recently, a 5-year-old Labradoodle, named Layla, was bitten by a coyote Sunday night on Melvin Road. The family of the dog said Layla had serious injuries but was recovering.
“The coyotes you see running around in Arlington may not necessarily be living in Arlington,” said former Belmont animal control officer John Maguranism. He specializes in tracking the species around the Boston area.
Maguranism said the winter months are the mating season for coyotes and that people should not walk their dogs off-leash during that time. He also said attacks are more dangerous because they often occur in packs.
“It is important the know that when you see a whole bunch of coyotes, they’re all going to be related, except mom and dad.”
Coyote hazing can be done to get the animals moving when people see them in their backyard. The Humane Society says hazing is a method that gets animals to move out of a certain area of discourage an undesirable behavior or activity.
"Hazing can help maintain a coyote’s fear of humans and deter them from backyards and play spaces," the organization wrote on their website. Hazing involves yelling and waving your arms while approaching a coyote, standing tall or using a noise-maker or projectile to scare off the animal.
Last month, two 2-year-old girls were attacked by coyotes within ten minutes while playing in their yards on Epping Street and Summerhill Road, respectively. A few weeks before that, another young boy was bit near the same area.
WBZ’s Jim MacKay (@JimMacKayOnAir) spoke with Maguranism about some frequently asked questions when it comes to coyote sightings: