A New England city has been overrun by coyotes and is asking the federal government to have snipers kill the animals.
According to the New York Times, about two dozen pets have gone missing in Nahant in the past two years. To end up under the charges, the coyotes, about a dozen in number, now move fearlessly through the streets of the seaside city of three thousand people north of Boston.
Although no humans were injured, there have already been three reports this year of fatal attacks on dogs on leashes with their owners. Now there is fear especially for young children.
Nahant is essentially an island connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway about 2.4 kilometers long, and this contributes to the sense of danger felt by some of the residents: compact, densely populated and surrounded by water, it is a difficult place for wolves and a difficult place for them to remain mostly invisible to humans. , as they often do in larger cities and suburbs.
Coyotes regard small pets as prey, while attacks on people are rare and almost never fatal, experts said. But the concern prompted the Nahant Selection Board earlier this month to vote to enlist federal snipers to track down and kill some coyotes, making Nahant I. The Massachusetts municipality is seeking expert help through a new state partnership with the USDA.
“I love animals and I don’t want to see them killed, but some kids will eventually be taken from under a porch in the house,” said Lisa Wren, who witnessed a coyote snatch her chihuahua, Penelope, this summer. He was off leash on the stairs of the house.
Recently, while waiting for snipers to arrive, some residents of Nahant decided to go it alone and arm themselves with whistles and baseball bats to defend themselves. Not only that, many dogs have been seen wearing “wolf suits” with studs and spikes to protect them from attack.
But not everyone is on board with the heavy line: Some residents have called for a more humane approach, holding up handmade signs reading “Save Nahant’s Coyotes” near the bridge that leads into town. False allegations and exaggerations have fueled hysteria and a rush for drastic action, says Francine Amarie Faulkner, a resident who has organized protests against the sniper plan. “If the city brings in snipers, it will be a bloodbath,” he said, “because other cities will say, ‘We can do that, too.'”
Nahant city manager Tony Barletta does his best to remind residents that there is no going back: wolves will remain, long even after a handful of them have been wiped out. Like it or not, residents will have to find a way to live with them: “We expect them to be constantly here in the city,” Mr. Barletta said at a selection board meeting last week. “Just because you’re afraid of wolves doesn’t mean it’s a problem, and that’s hard to explain to residents.”
Don’t miss the best Lazamba news and stories, Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter (click here)