Photographer Daniel Keefe captured this fisher outside a Durham, N.H., home in 2003. It was attracted to a suet cage. (Daniel M. Keefe)
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This is a partial list of stories in recent years that have made it into newspaper print and a snapshot of conflicts occurring throughout Massachusetts. It illustrates that societal conflicts with wildlife are very real and not just an abstract possibility. These stories underscore the fundamental need for a balanced, responsible approach to wildlife management from both societal and ecological perspectives that incorporate proactive lethal and non-lethal approaches. They give a glimpse into what's really happening on the ground. These stories are not posted here to ignite public fears, but to highlight that a multi-dimensional, scientifically based management approach concerning our furbearers is critical for our continued long-term positive co-existence with wildlife. Highly regulated furbearer harvests, using the best available tools currently banned or extremely restricted in Massachusetts may not solve all these issues, but it is surely a critical missing component in dealing with and reducing conflicts.
The list will be updated as additional stories come to our attention and as time allows to post them.... If you know of a recent, relative story and the source, please let us know. The CRWM is compiling an ongoing database of wildlife conflicts. Your help in building this list is encouraged and greatly appreciated. Please contact us at: ConserveWildlife@macrwm.org
Newton, MA - April 1, 2015
Framingham, MA - January 23, 2015
Lowell, MA - January 12, 2015
Groveland, MA - January 6, 2015
Greenland, NH - November 17, 2014 (just northwest of Salisbury MA)
Coyotes near West Bridgewater school put police on alert - Officer placed on wooded path leading to West Bridgewater elementary school to protect children
West Bridgewater, MA - October 7, 2014
Salem, MA - September 30, 2014
Middleboro, MA - August 11, 2014
Middleboro, MA - August 11, 2014
Hadley, MA - July 23, 2014
Hanover, MA - June 6, 2014
Easthampton, MA - June 2, 2014
Woburn, MA - June 2, 2014
Bourne man, dog attacked by coyote - Family says this is latest in string of coyote attacks
Bourne, MA - May 21, 2014
Westfield MA - May 8, 2014
Londonderry, MA - May 2, 2014
Salem, MA - April 30, 2014
Quincy, MA - April 24, 2014
Southborough, MA - February 28, 2014
Lowell MA - March 31, 2014
Millbury, MA - March 19, 2014
Southborough, MA - February 28, 2014
Worcester MA - January 21, 2014
Hopkinton, MA - January 8, 2014
Medfield, MA - August 28, 2013
Fairhaven, MA - August 21, 2013
Danvers, MA - August 9, 2013
Hopkinton MA - June 28, 2013
Newton, MA - Jun. 12, 2013
Warren, MA - May 25, 2013
Ipswich MA - June 18, 2012
Lynn, MA - June 3, 2012
Boston, MA - May 17, 2012
Saugus, MA - May 12, 2012
Littleton, MA - May. 2, 2012
Littleton MA - May 01, 2012
Coyote Attack in
Boston, MA - March 23, 2012
Brookline, MA - February 8, 2012
Wellesley, MA - February 7, 2012
Wellesley, MA - February 6, 2012
Coyote attacks nine-year-old Mass. girl
Hopkinton, MA - January 8, 2012
Brookline, MA - December 7, 2011
Coyote attacks two-year-old girl in Weymouth, MA
East Falmouth Dog Killed By Coyotes
Officials, residents to discuss Newton coyote problem
after dog is killed
Newton Residents Post Signs Warning of Coyotes, Foxes
Upton MA - October 01, 2011
Greenfield, MA - August 27, 2011
Greenfield, MA - July, 07 2011
Natick has one big dam problem
Natick MA - June 03, 2011
Belmont MA - May 17, 2011
Lawrence MA - April 8, 2011
Leverett, MA - March 11, 2011
Flooding on Rte. 16 in Holliston blamed on rain, beavers
Holliston MA - December 14, 2010
Holliston MA - December 9, 2010
investigates beaver dam flooding at Rosemary Brook
Property owner blocks
beaver trapping plan
Beaver activity gnaws at Greylock Glen
Swansea man sees coyote attack and carry off his pet chihuahua
Coyote activity getting ugly in Gr. Lynn
Flooding threatens Middle Road - Newbury officials fear roadway may be
Two Weymouth police officers
treated for rabies after run-in with fox
Coyote in suburb attacks
caught and killed
attack kills cat
Police believe coyotes responsible for three fatal cat attacks in Florence
section of Northampton
Residents fear coyote attacks
on Camera: Animal attacks Norton dog
Toddler, 2 adults attacked by fox
Coyote may be
responsible in killing of cat
Meetings to seek solution to problematic Leverett-Montague beaver pond
Boxford, MA June 1, 2010
As Wigwam Pond
waters recede, beaver traps are pulled
resident traps beavers for town
Raccoon that bit woman on foot was rabid
Coyotes spotted on Gloucester beaches
Amherst MA - May 07, 2010
Cleanup Continues In Beaver Dam Break
veterinarian confirms case of rabies in horse
Leicester, MA - April 29, 2010
Rabid fox euthanized
after attacks in Stoneham
Coyote attacks concern
Mill Pond neighbors
Westborough, MA - June 25, 2010
Holyoke, MA - January 21, 2010
Dog killed in Hampden coyote
Coyotes Kill Woman on Hike in Canadian Park
in Derry bites dog
Beaver fever found in spring
Lawrence, MA - September 29, 2009
Man Links Water Woes To Broken Dam
Coyotes terrorize Dartmouth neighborhood
Foxes spotted off Highland Avenue
Beaver Damage on the Mend and More!
Flooding raises health concerns
Lawrence police kill fox that bit man. Victim awaits
results of rabies tests
Dartmouth coyote attack brings attention to predator
'Lucky' Jasper the cat survives coyote attack Family
warns 'it can happen to anyone'
Attacking fox is killed after 2 people bitten in
Rabid Skunk attacks Norfolk man
Fox attack leaves Edgewood residents edgy
Raynham family shocked after coyote attack leaves pet
cat clinging to life
Fox attacks shake up Brockton neighborhood
Coyotes strike again; cat killed in Georgetown
MA: Coyotes stalk woman, kill dog at Georgetown/Rowley
South Hadley officials hope to resolve flooding
problems at Ledges Golf Club without killing beavers
Busy beavers adding to
soppiness of the season
Police warn of
coyotes after small dog is killed
Northampton, MA - May 16, 2009
Coyote Forces 2 Logan Runways To Briefly Close, Coyote
Killed By Truck
Vicious attack of dog in Middleboro brings attention
to seasonal suburban threat
A Weymouth neighborhood is on edge after a family dog
in one neighborhood barely survived a coyote attack.
Raynham coyote attacks finally prompt recourse
Leave it to Beavers
in beaver population linked to loosestrife spread
6-foot-tall beaver dams breaks, sends 'wave of mud
Charlton, MA resident asks for help with beaver damage
Medford MA - April 11, 2008
Road resident warns pet owners after coyote attack
Trapped! Towns losing the war against beavers. OUR
Testing reveals rabid raccoon
Beaver problems continue to plague Miles River
State orders breach to
avert dam failure
City howling over coyotes
Red tape may seal beavers' fate
Officials: Beavers a
threat to water supply
Fox attack in Chelmsford
Coyotes attacks 11-pound dog
Beavers, not humans, ruin
Family dog kills rabid fox in his yard
Beavers too eager for them
Town grapples with big hazard:
Beavers back and damming up
Beaver dams causing problems
Beaver damage could be pricey for Sherborn
Coyotes maul, kill family pet
warns her neighbors to keep pets inside
A coyote attacks in Weymouth and kills a dog
Beavers elude death again
Hingham MA - September 8, 2007
Beaver takes revenge on town
MassWildlife Advisory: Coyotes Incidents in
Hamilton MA - February 1, 2007
Northampton, MA - December 14, 2006
Tewksbury, MA - October 27,2005
East Harwich MA - May 24, 2006
Describes Coyote Attack - Man Fights Off Animal With Mace
Dog Recovering After Coyote Attack
Coyote in attack was rabid, state says Northborough
man, 76, was bitten multiple times
Dog is killed by coyote in Boston yard
Coyote attacks off-duty Police officer and daughter
Rabid coyote attacks Cape Cod woman
Saugus residents howl about town's coyote sightings
Coyote bites country club security guard in Mashpee
Sterling may offer preview of problem
Dog is killed by coyote in Boston yard
Main Street Beaver Situation
What about the Beavers?
To trap, or not to trap: Question lingers
in light of beaver problems
PROBLEM DOGS BOLTON MAN BEAVERS' DAMS FLOOD HIS YARD
Police officer kills fox following attack; Animal forced woman onto car hood
Coyote snatches, kills dog; Official says cats are missing, too
Weymouth MA - September 5, 2002
Pet dog dies after attack by
Beavers driving Ipswich batty
TRAP BAN GIVES BEAVERS THE RUN OF RURAL TOWNS FLOODS, CONTAMINATED WATER BLAMED
ON A 1996 STATE LAW
Coyote attacks a child; first time in State
By Jenna Fisher
By Susan Petroni (Patch Staff)
January 23, 2015 at 4:00am
FRAMINGHAM, MA - Framingham Police issued a warning to North Framingham residents about a pack of coyotes, on Thursday evening via a reverse 9-1-1 call. There were several reports of a German Shepherd dog killed on the aqueduct between Bradford and Potter roads in Framingham. This is not the first report of coyotes in Framingham. There were multiple reports of coyotes in Framingham in 2014. And in 2013, there were several reports of a Coyote with its pups near Brophy Elementary.
By Todd Feathers, firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATED: 01/12/2015 07:35:11
LOWELL, MA - A bucktoothed menace reared its furry head in South Lowell last spring, turning Charles Tamulonis' backyard into a mosquito-infested swamp. The city is no stranger to beavers, but this colony was special. The lake they created in Marginal Brook was such a hazard that in November, for the first time in more than a decade, the city was forced to tear down a beaver dam -- no easy feat. "There's always this thing about 'save the beavers,'" Tamulonis said. "But it's the greatest nuisance in the world depending on where you live." Tamulonis built his house on Circuit Avenue in 1986. The area was always prone to flooding, but as a younger man, he didn't mind climbing through the bramble and trees that surround his property to clear a blockage in the brook. Last spring, however, the water rose more than 5 feet, completely submerging his backyard and flooding his basement. Oak trees, some of which had been there as long as he had been alive, started toppling. The distinct marks of beaver teeth could be seen all over the swamp. At 62, Tamulonis again found himself crashing through the bramble to rip the edges of the beaver dam down with a pitchfork. By the next morning, the dam would be completely rebuilt. "My biggest concern is, if this huge dam bursts ... where is the water going to go?" he said. "It's not only going to flood me out, it's going to flood out everybody on the street." Sure, they're cute, but beavers are nature's engineers, and if they decide to build in the wrong place, they can be dam destructive to human structures. "If you're a resident living around this, it will affect your septic system, it will affect your well, it can affect the stability of a roadway," said Ingeborg Hegemann, a professor at UMass Lowell who specializes it wetlands science and building projects. The lakes beaver dams create can also completely alter an ecosystem, she said. In Tamulonis' case, that meant he couldn't venture outside after dark without being engulfed in a swarm of mosquitoes. Soon after the dam appeared, he began writing to every city official he could think of. For almost a month, nothing happened, But eventually he spoke with Ralph Snow, commissioner of the Department of Public Works, and the city embarked on the arduous task of securing the proper permitting to breach a dam and trap the beavers -- not to mention actually taking on the dam itself. It took more than five months for the city to secure the proper approval. During that time, a trapper caught 12 beavers behind Tamulonis' property, some of the weighing more than 50 pounds. The process for removing a dam is surprisingly complicated. To begin with, a local board of health must determine that a dam constitutes a threat to public health. In Tamulonis' case, the mosquitoes saw to that. Then a resident must obtain a beaver-trapping permit, which only lasts 10 days. If the beavers aren't all caught, the property owner must reapply until the job is done. It took Tamulonis four permits. Finally, a municipality must apply to the state for permission to breach the dam, and the local conservation commission must approve the measure. The Lowell Conservation Commission heard testimony and debated Tamulonis' problem for nearly half an hour. It isn't rare for the city to trap and relocate beavers, but it has been a long time since a dam became so problematic it had to be removed, at least legally. Near the turn of the millennium, the city's Conservation Commission was fielding two or three requests each time it met to breach a dam. When Tamulonis spoke before the commission in November, one commissioner said it was the first time since 2000 he had heard such a request. Hegemann said it isn't uncommon for beavers to disappear from an area for several years if their dam is repeatedly destroyed, but she couldn't think of a reason a city so plagued by the rodents suddenly found itself relatively free of them. The current permit approved for Marginal Brook will allow the city to remove any beaver dams in the immediate area for three years. Tamulonis is hoping the beavers feel just as hassled as he did and stay away for good. Follow Todd Feathers on Twitter and Tout@ToddFeathers.
Read more: http://www.lowellsun.com/todaysheadlines/ci_27303693/city-gets-approval-trap-beavers-causing-flooding-south#ixzz3PBdYEBqq
WCVB 5 News, Boston
Published January 6, 2015
GROVELAND, Mass. —Police have issued a warning in Groveland after a coyote attacked local residents, including a father who was walking with his 4-year-old daughter, on Monday. Jon McPherson had just arrived home and was walking up a sidewalk with his daughter when the coyote latched onto his leg and wouldn't let go. "At first I thought, 'Oh my God. I just got bit by a dog,'" he said. "I turned around and it was a big coyote. Probably waist-high. I was like, 'Get out of here!'" McPherson said shouting at the animal didn't work. "He wasn't afraid of me in the slightest," McPherson said. That's when he hit the animal with a bag full of groceries. "I clocked him with the bag, he kind of shook his head a little bit and moved into the side yard," McPherson said. After ripping apart the bag, the coyote took off for the woods behind Manor Drive, but minutes later it emerged on nearby Gardner Street. A man on that street said the coyote didn't seem to have any fear. "The behavior of the coyote in these incidents is very unusual," Groveland police Sgt. Dwight McDonald said. "Coyotes usually run from humans. "The coyote should be considered rabid and dangerous, police said. Any contact with the animal will require medical attention.
WCVB Boston Channel 5
Published 9:05 PM EST Nov 17, 2014
GREENLAND, N.H. - A woman and her dog were bitten by a coyote Monday morning, police say. The woman and dog were attacked in Greenland off Post Road. Police say the woman was walking her dog on her property when a coyote charged and attacked them. The victim's husband heard the woman yelling and drove a vehicle to the scene. Police say he shot a firearm to try to scare the animal away, but was unsuccessful. He then drove the car to separate the coyote from the woman. The coyote ran off. The woman, who had bites on her hands and legs, was taken to a hospital for treatment. The dog was taken to a vet suffering from multiple lacerations. Both the woman and her dog are recovering and expected to be OK. Greenland police warned that people should be cautious of wild animals. When protecting food or offspring, animals tend to be more territorial.
Coyotes near West Bridgewater school put police on alert
Officer placed on wooded path leading to West Bridgewater elementary school to
By Adam Roberts - Enterprise correspondent
Posted Oct. 7, 2014 @ 6:00 am
WEST BRIDGEWATER, MA – When students walked through the wooded path that connects Goldie Road to Rose L. MacDonald Elementary School on Monday, they were greeted by a police officer. The officer was assigned to the detail after residents reported howling coyotes in the area Sunday night. “It’s good to have them there and aware what’s going on,” said Rochelle Peterson of the police presence. Her husband walked their daughter to school Monday morning and saw the officer. Jeni Mather, West Bridgewater Animal Control, wouldn’t comment on how the police were responding to the report specifically. “The primary concern of the West Bridgewater Police Department is the safety of the children,” Mather said. Calls to the Rose L. MacDonald School and the West Bridgewater superintendent’s office were not immediately returned. The sound of coyotes at night is common in the area, and being heard from Quincy to Middleboro as packs get more active and increasingly intersect with society. Several area residents, as well as their pets and livestock, have had encounters. Peterson said she’s been woken up six times this year by howling. One time, the noise was so loud, she thought the coyotes made a kill next to her home. The howling at night doesn’t bother her. “I’m not so concerned because we haven’t seen them during the day,” said Peterson. Mather said coyotes are most active at dusk. If one is out during the day it’s likely sick. “You should steer clear of coyotes,” Mather said, adding making some noise and walking away are the best responses when encountering a coyote. Mather said the coyote activity is consistent with that in past years. There have been several coyote attacks and incidents across the region this year. This summer, a series of coyote attacks decimated Richard Seaman’s flock of sheep. Seaman, a sheep dog trainer who keeps about 100 head of sheep in Middleboro and Westport, said the Middleboro pasture came under siege in August. He lost 40 lambs in the attacks. Quincy pet owners were put on alert in April after an elderly woman watched a coyote jump her fence and snatch her Chihuahua one night. “The poor little thing,” the dog’s owner, Marjory Cristiani, 85, told WCVB-TV at the time. “I just can’t get it out of my mind. To stand on the stairs and see that animal taking my dog.”
By Neil H. Dempsey Staff Writer, The Salem News
Posted: Tuesday, September 30, 2014 11:18 pm
SALEM, MA - Leslie Boucher was walking three dogs at Salem Woods recently when one of them, a tan boxer mix named Dalton, took off on his own. At first, Boucher didn’t think anything of it. Dalton had a habit of running off for five or 10 minutes at time, and he wasn’t on a leash. But then Boucher started to worry. And then, 45 minutes into looking for Dalton, one of the other dogs - a Labradoodle named Monty - started acting “very odd,” and he took off, too. Boucher tried to follow but quickly lost Monty in the brush. The next thing I heard, he was yelping and crying,” Boucher said. “I heard that clear as day.” Monty came back with two 11/2 inch slashes on his backside and 12 puncture wounds. He later received 20 stitches at a veterinary center in Woburn. Dalton never came back. Now authorities, confident both were attacked by coyotes, are sounding an alarm about the area, which includes the municipal golf course and the nature tail running alongside it. “It’s sad to say, but they’re taking a chance going out there,” said Donald Famico, the city’s animal control officer. “If a dog goes into a coyote’s den with their young or anything like that, they’re as good as done.” Although coyotes are spotted with some frequency around the city, sometimes in the vicinity of the power plant on Fort Avenue, Famico described Salem Woods as a particularly attractive haven for them, with its hundreds of acres of forestland. “It’s one area that they can pretty much be safe in,” he said. “Those woods go all the way almost to Lynn.” Those woods also go all the way to Swampscott, where another dog - a shepherd-Labrador mix with a floppy ear named Clarissa — went missing earlier this year from a home at Essex Street and Hillside Circle.
By Ryan Trowbridge - ABC News 40 - WGGB.com
Posted July 23, 2014
HADLEY, MA (WGGB) - A warning tonight for pet owners from a Hadley couple, who recently lost a pet Dachshund in a coyote attack. “Hershey had more brown in her face. She was slightly bigger.” Cathleen Robinson and Raymond Brown speak fondly about their pet dog, Hershey. Besides Hershey, they also have another dog named Mia. On the evening of July 2, Robinson let both Hershey and Mia out into the backyard. “I went out with them, had the floodlights on. They were happy to be outside, running around and Hershey started tracking something,” Robinson explains. That something apparently turned out to be a coyote. Robinson had to go into the house for a moment and then heard an awful noise. “I was coming back out and I kind of heard Mia scream barking,” Robinson says. She knew immediately that something was wrong. “I just said to Ray something terrible happened and I came to the door and poor Hershey was dragging herself up the steps.” Hershey was badly injured by the coyote. They took her to the animal hospital where Hershey was put to sleep. This is the backyard where the coyote attacked the little dog. Robinson tells us it was only a matter of seconds from the time she let Hershey out to the time the coyote grabbed her. Robinson feels the only reason the coyote let go of the dog was that Hershey was wearing a collar and the attacking coyote was shocked, trying to get out of the yard through the invisible fence. Robinson is telling her story to alert other pet owners of their nightmare, in hopes it won’t happen to anyone else. “Reason I’m talking about it is if more people talk about it, they can take more care with their pets, especially at night and at dawn,” she adds. Raymond and Brown feel the coyote problem is a growing one. They talked with neighbors after the attack and discovered that everyone had their own coyote story. Coyote attacks, once rare, are happening all over Massachusetts. There are an estimated 10,000 coyotes in the Bay State.
By Alice C. Elwell - Enterprise correspondent
Posted Aug. 11, 2014 @ 2:09 am, Updated Aug 12, 2014 at 2:30 PM
Middleboro, MA - Sheep owner Richard Seaman, who also trains sheep dogs, puts the animals through their paces at the Soule Homestead Educational Center in Middleboro. Sheep dog trainer Richard Seaman gives commands to his sheep dog with a whistle. A sheep owned Richard Seaman is identified by the tag in its ear. Sheep dog trainer Richard Seaman works with his dog "Star" at the Soule Homestead Educational Center in Middleboro. Richard Seaman had no luck using a donkey to guard his flock of sheep. "The donkey I had was really nice and I liked the idea of a donkey, but unfortunately he killed a lamb because it didn’t belong here," he said. Seaman is a professional sheep dog trainer who also raises about 100 sheep in rented pastures in Middleboro and Westport. And contrary to popular belief, sheep dogs do not protect their flock, they are working dogs that herd the sheep, he explained. After Gus the donkey didn’t recognize the newborn lambs and turned on them, Seaman shipped him off to a new home. "I totally trusted Gus, it was so sad getting rid of him," he said. Within two days of Gus’s departure, Seaman’s flock was in shambles. Coyotes swept in and feasted on the newborn lambs. During a series of attacks, many pregnant ewes dropped their lambs when fleeing and by the week’s end, Seaman had lost 40 lambs. It was a gruesome experience and Seaman took a big financial hit, his lambs sell for as much as $200 each. Now Seaman is looking for a llama to guard the flock and he’s working with a local hunter to track down the coyotes that are dining on his sheep. "I think their numbers will increase now that they’re eating well," he said. When not feasting on sheep, Seaman found evidence coyotes are taking down deer when a leg turned up in his field. Hunter Allin J. Frawley, who is chairman of the Middleboro selectmen, will help Seaman control the coyote pack that’s preying on the herd. Coyotes are extremely smart and have earned the name the trickster from Native Americans. "Predator hunting is extremely challenging. You’re hunting the hunter," he said. Coyotes mate at the beginning of the year, and give birth in the spring. They are very active during the summer when the hunt to feed their young and Frawley fears the pack will begin teaching their young to prey on Seaman’s flock. Coyote season doesn’t begin until October, but Amy Mahler, spokesperson for the Department of Energy and Environmental Affairs said hunters can take them down if they are threatening humans or livestock. Mahler said it not just sheep that can fall victim to a hungry coyote. She said coyotes are opportunist feeders and will eat just about anything. "Apples are just as much at risk as sheep," she said. In addition to orchards, Mahler said coyotes will prowl on garbage, bird food, compost, road kill and trash. "Basically people enable coyotes to eat."
By Jessica Trufant - The Patriot Ledger
Posted Jun. 6, 2014 @ 12:01 am, Updated Jun 6, 2014 at 10:41 AM
HANOVER, MA – A 35-pound dog is recovering from critical injuries to his abdomen, chest, head and throat after he confronted a pack of coyotes at the tree-line of his Pembroke yard. Max, a 7-year-old shiba inu, was recuperating at VCA Robert’s Animal Hospital Thursday. Max’s owner, Jonathan Pratt, said he and Max were out on the back porch around 9 p.m. Wednesday when Max heard something in the brush about 100 feet away and took off into the dark to investigate. “All of a sudden it sounded like dogs fighting, and you could hear him crying. The damage was done and the coyotes went scurrying off,” Pratt said. “I’m shocked because I didn’t think he would survive.” Pratt rushed Max to the veterinary hospital where the dog underwent a four-hour surgery to repair the muscle and skin. “He didn’t give up,” Pratt said. “If he had, he wouldn’t have made it.” Veterinarian Joe Martinez said the dog isn’t out of danger yet. “He’s got an uphill battle,” Martinez said, noting that it was the worst coyote attack they’ve seen where the animal survived. “In the best case scenario, he’ll be here for another week.” Comparing the attack to blunt-force trauma, Martinez said there are a number of ongoing concerns, including bruising, internal bleeding and infection. Although Max is in tough shape, Martinez said he’s lucky his internal organs weren’t punctured. “He’s big for his breed, and that worked in his favor. Usually these dogs are half the size,” Hospital Manager Gerry Martin added. Living in a rural area, Pratt said it’s common to hear coyotes in the distance, but he’s never seen them so close to his house. Marion Larson, the chief of information and education for the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, said it’s not uncommon for Eastern coyotes to go after larger dogs, but usually it’s a matter of protecting their territory, rather than hunting. “I’ve heard of coyotes going after a German shepherd, but that’s more about territory or feeling threatened,” she said. “Maybe there were young pups nearby.” Larson said it’s important people know that coyotes are throughout the state, and it’s important to go outside with your pet, preferably on a leash. “Coyotes are intelligent animals, and they start to figure out schedules,” she said. “Human beings are considered a threat, so the best thing you can do for your pet is be out there and close by.”
By bdecker -ABC 40
Posted June 2, 2014
Easthampton, MA (WGGB)- There is a flood in one Easthampton yard, and the city says wildlife is to blame. Its the result of a clogged culvert that flows under South Street.
I haven't dared go over there, sam's homeowner Dan Laflamme as he points to his backyard. Laflamme has lived in his Crescent Street home for almost 30 years. After returning from Florida a few days ago, he came home to more than half of his property under water. There's about 3 acres, Says Laflamme. And how much do you think is underwater now? asks ABC40s Brittany Decker. About 2 acres, he responds. In a season there may be flooding of an inch or two, but now two outdoor buildings hold about 5 feet of water. His valuables are still inside. There's a 53′ dodge in there with 28,000 miles on it; I don't know what I'm going to do now, Dan says. And that building over there, in the back of it I've got snow blowers and lawnmowers and all kinds of equipment, its all underwater, he continues. The city says that beavers are the cause of problem because they keep blocking the culvert with debris. Now special permission is needed to clean it up; approval from the Conservation Commission that the City Engineer, Jim Gracia says they received this morning. The plan is for crews to go in, clear out the culvert, and maintain the work until they can find a more permanent solution. Dan says he has never seen a beaver in his life near the property, but either way just wants his yard back. How damage is there? asks Decker. It could be 20-30 thousand; I don't know, says Laflamme. The city says workers will be in to address the problem this week.
Jorge Quiroga Reporting WCVB 5
Published June 2, 2014
Woburn, MA - A man says he was attacked by a coyote while he was walking in a parking lot at the South End Italian American Club in Woburn.
VIDEO Transcript: A MAN ATTACKED BY A COYOTE THAT CAME OUT OF NO WHERE. JJORGE QUIROGA LIVE IN WOULD YOU BORN WITH THE VICTIM'S -- WOBURN WITH THE VICTIM'S WARNING. IT HAPPENED HERE IN BROAD DAYLIGHT. THING GRIENER ANIMAL CAME OUT OF A NEIGHBOR -- THE ANGRY ANIMAL CAME OUT OF A NEIGHBORING YARD AND POUNCED. HE HAS BEEN TOLD IT WAS A COYOTE THAT POUNCED ON HIM. IT BIT RIGHT ON THE BACK OF ME AND I SCREAMED AND JIGGLED AND THEN IT WAS LIKE ON TO MY ANKLE. SUNDAY AFTERNOON, HE AND HIS FAMILY WERE GOING NO WOBURN SOUTH END ITALIAN CLUB. HE PARKED OUT BACK. IT BIT ME HERE AND WENT DOWN TO MY ANKLE AND TRIED DRAGGING ME HE. IT WANTED TO DRAG ME OUT TO THE WOODS. HE TURNED AROUND AND I DON'T THINK HE REALIZED HOW BAD. HE WAS GUSHING WITH BLOOD. HE HAD HOLES IN HIS PARTICIPANT GOOGLE COYOTE ATTACKS IN THE WOBURN AREA AND YOU WILL COME UP WITH SEVERAL RECENT INCIDENTS. I WAS IN SHOCK, YOU KNOW. I WAS IN FEAR. THEY CALLED 911. E.M.T.'S AND THE COPS TELLING THEM THIS HAD THE MARKINGS OF A RABIT COYOTE. THEY SAID THAT IS DEFINITELY A COYOTE ATTACK. HE QUICKLY STARTED HIS RABIES SHOTS FOR PROTECTION. THINKING IT COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE. IT COULD HAVE BEEN ONE OF THE KIDS. HE LOST HIS DAD WHEN HE WAS SIX AND I WOULDN'T WANT TO LOSE HIM AND HIM HAVE NO FATHER. NOW, SO FAR NEITHER POLICE NOR ANIMAL CONTROL HAVE BEEN ABLE TO INTER TRACK DOWN THE COYOTE BUT IF IT WENT AFTER THE GROWN MAN THE ATTACK IS A VIVID REMINDER TO ALL IN THE AIR
WCVB Channel 5
Published 11:27 PM EDT May 21, 2014
BOURNE, MA - A Bourne man said he was attacked by a coyote Wednesday night as he tried to rescue his dog that was being attacked. Michael Gagnon said he let his 5-year-old boxer out when he got home from work, and minutes later heard her yelping. "And I ran down there and there are three coyotes attacking her," he said. Gagnon said he had to fight off the coyotes and suffered a long cut on his arm as a result. "When I tried to push him down, he just came up on me," he said. Lulu has at least four bite wounds that her owners estimate are about an inch deep, and she's having a difficult time walking. The family said two of their cats were killed by coyotes last year and that a neighbor's dog had been attacked. They are warning other families to watch for the danger in the woods. "They're totally out of control," said Gagnon. The family called animal control officers. They said they are expected to visit the property Thursday.
Reported by Nancy Chen (WHDH News 7)
Posted: Apr 30, 2014 10:31 PM EDT Updated: Jun 11, 2014 10:31 PM EDT
By Beth Germano, WBZ-TV
Posted: April 24, 2014 5:33 PM
QUINCY, MA(CBS) A
Quincy family is mourning the loss of their beloved pet after it was attacked by
a coyote.The predator scaled the five foot fence snatching the 13-year-old
chihuahua in its teeth, as his elderly owner looked on. As I
went and looked I said, oh my God, said 85 year old Marjory Cristiani. He
put the dog in his mouth and Im going, let it go, let it go.
The dog named Cheech was put outside for just a few minutes before
bedtime, but when Marjory looked out the window she came face-to-face with the
coyote. He just looked at me defiant, they are very defiant
animals. Her son Anthony says Cheech is a member of the
family. He gave the dog to his mother as a gift when her husband passed away
thirteen years ago. It was horrifying to know my mother saw
the dog in the coyotes mouth like a rag doll. Its disheartening to say the
least, he said. A friend of Anthonys found the remains, and
Anthony says the coyote even returned after the attack.
Right on that corner he was standing looking at me, the size of a small German
shepherd. Its the second coyote attack on a small animal in
By Bobby Sisk, WBZ-TV
March 31, 2014 10:48 PM
LOWELL, MA (CBS) By all accounts, this weekend brought the worst flooding ever along Wentworth Avenue in Lowell. Not here, nothing like this, exclaimed neighbor Ruby Duhamel Cook. The water started rising Sunday night after a weekend of heavy rain. I used to live in this neighborhood and I've never seen it like that. Never. Ever, said Lonnie Lacasse. Lacasse could barely see as he drove through the area Sunday night. It was pouring when I came through here, he recalled. The next thing he knew, his Chevrolet SSR was up to its wheel wells in water. When I got out of the car, it was up to my waist, he said. He called for help, and left his stalled vehicle right where it was. By morning, the water had risen even more. Emergency crews went door to door by boat to check on neighbors like Cook. Fortunately for me I thought I would evacuate if I was told that I had to but the firefighters said no, keep my eye on the furnace and said it would be okay, she said. She had flooding in her basement, and says she knows what's made this situation worse in her neighborhood. I think a lot of it has to do with the beavers. They've built up over here so much, she said. I saw like three different beavers last night. Huge, huge beavers. Mark Young, Director of Lowell Regional Wastewater Utility, also blames beavers and the dams they build. Because the animals are protected, though, he had to call in the state for help. Well have to get the proper authorities in to trap the beavers and then well have to take the dams down so that we don't have backups like this, he said. The backup that flooded Wentworth Ave, he thinks is due in part to a beaver dam in a culvert that allows the neighboring wetland to drain. Doing what they do naturally and the consequences are what you see here, Young said pointing to the standing water. One consequence of the flooding is Lonnie Lacasse's pride and joy. Its my baby, he said. His SSR sat submerged for around 20 hours until the water had gone down enough to have it hauled away. I had a couple of tow trucks come and they said they weren't going down there until the water was gone, he said. Several houses were impacted by the flooding. The water got close, but didn't get inside a nursing center nearby. A Wastewater crew stayed on the street into the night Monday to keep cars from driving through.
John Atwater reporting - WCVB 5 - Boston
UPDATED 11:35 PM EDT Mar 19, 2014
MILLBURY, MA - Animal control officers are issuing a warning after a dog in Millbury was attacked and killed Wednesday morning. Mike Conlon said he let his dog out just before 7 a.m. and minutes later noticed that the dog had disappeared. "They tore him apart," Conlon said. "His neck was broken." Conlon said he saw several coyotes run into the woods behind his house and he followed a trail of blood to find his beloved pet. "The dog didn't stand much of a chance," said Animal Control officer Daniel Chauvin. Chauvin said coyote populations have exploded over the last several years. "The days of opening your front door and letting your dog out for the evening or early morning constitutional -- those days are over," Chauvin said. The Conlon's do have an electric fence so their dog wouldn't leave the yard, but said they never thought predators would get so close to their house.
NECN: Kathryn Sotnik
Friday, Feb 28, 2014 • Updated at 3:13 PM EST
SOUTHBOROUGH, MA - Southborough, Mass. police want residents to know about three separate reports of "aggressive" or "sick" coyotes spotted over this past weekend. Firefighter Paul Zompetti says he was mowing the lawn for a family friend on Granuaile Road Saturday around 4:30 p.m. when he came face-to-face with a large coyote, even threatened by the animal. "It was scary. I really don't get that scared, but I was scared," said Zompetti. He also said he tried to turn towards it to scare it, and "wave his arms," but that it "just kept coming." Zompetti was not attacked, and the animal eventually walked away. He called police. Lois Wallace was at the house Saturday, witnessed what happened, and saw the coyote again Monday at the same exact time. Wallace said, "they're aggressive so you don't want to fool with them." Southborough police have also taken a look at the four legged animal and describe it as a "larger than normal coyote," potentially even a wolf. Zompetti says it was between 80 to 100 pounds. "I own a shepherd, I know the size and I was scared," he said. Police say the coyote sightings are common this time of year. For Zompetti, he says he'll continue to mow the lawn with more awareness and that he's glad the coyote walked away and things didn't turn out worse. "If there was a kid or small child or something I'd be afraid for that child," said Zompetti. On Sunday, residents of Boswell Lane and Saddle Hill Lane also reported a sick coyote in the area. Police say the town animal control officer was notified of all three incidents. Police say if you see a coyote, use common sense and don't attempt to feed or approach them.
By Thomas Caywood TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
Published January 21, 2014
Residents of a quiet neighborhood in southeastern Worcester say they're
struggling with an intractable property owner in their midst - a bad neighbor
whose inaction allowed beavers to turn a small brook into a sprawling swamp that
periodically inundates their backyards. Unfortunately for the
aggrieved residents, the property owner they have a problem with is notoriously
hard to fight City Hall. The undeveloped land along
Published January 8, 2014, Metrowest Daily News
HOPKINTON, MA – A trapper hired to stem flooding at Legacy Farms caught 42 beavers last month, he said Tuesday. Malcolm Speicher, who this winter also trapped for homeowners off North and South Mill streets, said he spent 15 days on the south side of 730-acre East Main Street housing development. Beavers can endanger homes, buildings and septic systems if their dams cause flooding. "We just kept going and going and going, and we just kept finding and finding and finding," Speicher said. They trapped in about 200 acres near Clinton and Front streets, he said, where homes haven't yet been built. "Hopefully it's been diminished," said Legacy Farms developer Roy MacDowell. The flooding had not harmed Legacy's homes, condos or apartments, he said, but was mainly in areas in which he plans to develop in the future. More importantly, the flooding was endangering bordering homes. Speicher said he found one big pond and several smaller dams, houses and beaver runs all across the land. He said a few devices, which help water flow through dams, should prohibit any new beavers who move in from causing flooding. "Once they get things done down there and establish the way they want it then the beavers can stay," he said. Developers plan to build Legacy Farms in five phases. Pulte Homes, which is building the houses and condos, last fall bought a second parcel from MacDowell. Speicher, who trapped 16 beavers for the North and South Mill streets neighbors, said he believes there are more beavers on the north side of Rte. 135, property MacDowell also owns. The trapper, who applies through the town for permission to use lethal traps that are otherwise prohibited, said he is talking with the local Department of Public Works about also trapping near Front Street, which floods from nearby beaver dams. On that street, however, the dam is on private property, so Speicher said he would have to ask permission from the homeowner. The town would pay, he said, because it is flooding a public road. "If the property owner won't allow anything then I don't know what they're going to do," he said. Speicher said the last trapper hired by the DWP to trap along Front Street accidentally trapped in the wrong spot. Contact Laura Krantz at 508-626-4429 mailto:email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @laurakrantz.
Richard DeSorgher - Medfield Selectman - Article taken from Selectman DeSorgher's website
Posted August 28, 2013
Medfield, MA - Medfield continues to have a problem with flooding and damage to our trees, wetlands and environment due to an increase in the number of beavers. It was 17 years ago that the voters in Massachusetts passed a state law barring many methods of trapping and killing beavers. The 1996 ballot question banned traps that clamp down on an animal’s leg or body. Licensed trappers only were allowed to use devices that capture critters in a cage. Over the next few years, the beaver population soared, and so did complaints throughout the communities in Massachusetts. The higher number of beavers on the landscape also resulted in a higher amount of area that’s being flooded by them. So in 2000, the Legislature updated the law to allow local boards of health to issue emergency permits to use lethal traps on beavers or muskrats if they are causing a threat to public safety or health, such as flooding wells for drinking water, septic systems or roads. In Massachusetts, a regulated beaver trapping season starts November 1st and ends April 15th. During trapping season any MA licensed trapper can trap beaver using live catch (Hancock or Bailey) traps and no permit is needed. A permit from the local Board of Health can be issued to trap beaver out of season if there is a threat to human health, safety, or property. This permit must also be issued for any trapper to use a Conibear or other lethal trap at any time of the year. Beaver trapping tends to be a short term solution as new beavers can relocate to the trapped area. If trapping is the only management method used, it typically needs to be repeated every year or two. Medfield has had several areas of flooding over recent years due to the construction of beaver dams. Especially vulnerable areas include the Stagecoach/ Bayberry Road area, Indian Hill/Nauset/Penobscot area, Wight Street area and along Vine Brook in the Brook Street/Hinkley Swim Pond area. The photos I recently took that go with this story were taken from behind the Hinkley Swim Pond looking north along Vine Brook. I grew up on Summer Street and as kids we were always in this forested area. As you can see from the photo, acres and acres of forest are now dead due to the flooding caused by the beavers. I have concerns for the forested areas along Brook Street as well. As fast as our highway department tears down the dams, the beavers build them back up again. We need to keep watch for signs of beaver dam construction to prevent the flooding of our homes in the short term and in the long term, destruction of our trees along our brooks and wetlands. It was sad to see so much of the forest in the Hinkley Swim Pond area destroyed.
By ARIEL WITTENBERG - SouthCoastToday
Posted Aug. 21, 2013 @ 12:00 pm, Updated Aug 21, 2013 at 5:24 PM
FAIRHAVEN, MA - At least four cats are suspected to have been killed by coyotes on Sconticut Neck in the past three weeks, according to Animal Control Officer Cat Mindlin. The cats were all found dead in the Manhattan Avenue, Grove Street, Bay Street and Brae Road area of town. “Normally the coyotes migrate with the tide of the bunny population,” Mindlin said. “But they are just picking off the cats in this one neighborhood.” Coyotes are “well established” throughout Massachusetts and thrive in suburban and urban areas close to people, according to the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game website. The predator's primary prey is rabbits, but it is not uncommon for them to eat squirrels, cats and small dogs. “This killing cats, they are not doing anything unnatural,” Mindlin said. “They are creatures of whatever is convenient.” Mindlin said one of the cat deaths was confirmed to be at the hands of a coyote after she sent its body to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. While Mindlin had originally thought the cat could have died from “human involvement,” the MSPCA sent the cat for a necropsy in Boston which attributed the feline's death to coyotes. As for the other three cats, Mindlin said they had similar wounds but could have been killed by fishers or other predators. Either way, she said, residents should be careful about letting pets outside. “I know certain outdoor cats will go crazy if you keep them in, but you need to supervise them as best you can,” she said. The state website actually recommends that people spend more time in their backyards in order to deter coyotes because they “generally try to avoid people.” “This natural fear of people is reinforced when play areas, backyards and trails are kept open and actively used by people,” the website said. Healthy coyotes do not attack people and can be easily intimidated by squirting water at them, clanging pots and pans or throwing a rock in their direction, Mindlin said. If a coyote approaches people, walks in circles, or is stumbling, Mindlin said it could have rabies and people could be at risk. If that happens, residents need to go indoors and call 911. Mindlin said she does not want to “incite panic” and believes that most pets are safe from coyotes if their owners are vigilant. “We just want people to be aware to prevent another kitty from being lost,” she said.
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By Jeff Pope/Wicked Local Danvers
Posted Aug. 9, 2013 @ 12:01 am, Updated Aug 9, 2013 at 9:13 AM
Danvers, MA - Several residents complained to selectmen on Tuesday, Aug. 6, about beavers and the problems they are causing in their neighborhood of Brentwood Circle and Old Maple Street. Over the years, beavers have built dams on the stream that runs between that neighborhood and Endicott Park. The stream runs down under Maple Street and eventually to College Pond. “The wetland is behind our property,” wrote David Saunders of 12 Brentwood Circle. Saunders was unable to attend the meeting, and neighbor Mary Jalbert read his letter to the selectmen. “We have never seen flooding as bad as it has been this year in June and July. In the past we have had many temporary flooding events in the springtime — but they receded very soon after the rain fall subsided. This year they did not recede.” Jalbert explained to the selectmen that the health inspector had visited the area twice this summer and on the second visit ordered a licensed trapper to remove the main dam. While the water level dropped some after the dam was removed, the water has now become stagnant. Bob Ryan of Glendale Drive, a Precinct 7 Town Meeting member, said the stagnant water was creating new problems “Unless something is done to get this water moving, we are going to have more water back up to property,” said Ryan. “That’s going to seep into property. Mold will develop. And we will have a health issue in that regard as well. Not to mention damage to personal property.” He added that the stagnant water is also a prime breeding ground for mosquitoes. “What I would like to see is some plan put together to inspect if there are more dams further out,” said Ryan. “My understanding is that the beavers have been removed. Given that, any other dams out there serve absolutely no purpose. We need to get this water moving.” Brad Soles, who with his pregnant wife and small child recently moved into a house on Maple Street, said his house is about 50 yards from the dam. “When the dam was there, water was actually flowing,” said Soles. “Since they have removed the dam, I can agree the water doesn’t move.” He said algae was covering the wetlands now, and worse yet, a dead beaver was causing an awful stink. He said the trapper had told him dead beavers are not allowed to be removed but they can be buried, which was done. “They buried it and supposedly turtles brought it back up,” said Soles. “And it’s rotting and we can’t open up our windows.” Jalbert raised another concern. A “floating” sewer was installed in that neighborhood and she wondered if the rising water levels would affect its performance.
Karen Podorefsky / Wicked Local Hopkinton correspondent
Posted Jun. 28, 2013 @ 12:01 am, Updated Jun 28, 2013 at 3:58 AM
Hopkinton, MA - In this beautiful weather, beaver damming can cause some not-so-beautiful problems if proper precautions are not taken. Beavers are out there this year, said Don McAdam, Conservation Administrator. The Conservation Commission's job is to protect public and private ground water supply, fisheries, and wild life habitats - even from something as seemingly natural as local beaver populations. Beavers dam culverts (pipes that go under roadways) and can cause flooding if the dam should break or block pipes, said Public Works Director John Westerling. The animals can pollute water, as well, he added. We ideally trap all of the beavers causing damming, but that is not always possible because there are families of older and younger beavers," said Westerling. "If they are all not actively damming, it is difficult to trap them. The problem perpetuates year after year because younger beavers grow up and start their own families and create new dams. During Massachusetts' open beaver season, it is okay to trap beavers, but that season ends each year in April, so officials from the Department of Public Works must approach the Board of Health for a permit to trap beavers and prevent water pollution or flooding. The application for this year has been filed, and a permit is pending. The permit will allow Department of Public Works staff to trap beavers on well land on Fruit Street. Beaver damming does not currently cause water quality issues in that area, but Westerling is looking to prevent a future problem - once beavers dam water and repopulate, they can pollute the water. They like to pond up water; we don't like that, said Westerling.
By Jim Morrisonfirstname.lastname@example.org
Posted Jun. 12, 2013 @ 12:01 am, Updated Jun 12, 2013 at 12:17 PM
NEWTON, MA - Last week, a coyote bit Newton resident Karen Day’s Labrador retriever, Dakota. Day lives close to the Brae Burn golf course in Waban, where she says coyote sightings are not uncommon. “Last winter I let my dog out at 5:30 a.m. and heard a blood-curdling scream. I ran out to find Dakota chasing a coyote.” Last week, Day let Dakota out at 7:30 a.m. and heard the same agonized doggy “scream.” She ran out onto the back deck and saw a bloodied Dakota facing off a coyote that was about the same size – 60 pounds. “The coyote didn’t bolt off,” said Day. “It just sort of trotted away.” Dakota suffered two puncture wounds from the bite and is expected to recover fully, but Day was rattled. If a coyote would attack her big dog, she wondered, what else would it attack? Day is not alone. The TAB has received several letters from residents concerned about seeing coyotes and wondering what to do about them. (for here full story go here)
May 25, 2013 4:00 PM
WARREN, MA (CBS) A
section of Route 67 in the central
Beavers expanding range, making homes closer to people - With trapping ban,
By Beth Daley, Boston Globe Staff
Published: December 26, 2012
WEST ROXBURY, MA -
It appears to be the chiseled handiwork of an ace axman: Tree after tree along
the water’s edge in
Beavers: A delicate
balance along Ipswich River
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By David Rattigan - Globe Correspondent
Published June 3, 2012
Lynn, MA - A rash of recent coyote attacks has created a stir among dog walkers at the Lynn Woods Reservation. “Since the notices went up, I’ve been a little bit nervous about coming here,’’ admitted Stacy Grillo, 35, of Saugus, who was getting ready to walk Buddy, her bichon frise, last Saturday morning. “We kept her on a leash and didn’t go too far in,” said Susana Sinclair, 38, of Salem, walking a mixed breed named Palomita. The advice to keep pets on a leash is the message being sent in large black letters on the notice posted at reservation entrances, after seven reports of coyotes attacking dogs inside or near the area in May. Ranger Dan Small has been at the reservation for 13 years, employed by the Lynn Water Sewer Commission. He knows of five coyotes that divide the 3½ square miles of the reservation, a pair that lives to the north, a pair that lives to the south, and one that makes its den in the reservation near Parkland Avenue and spends some time in nearby neighborhoods. Small is not sure if that one has a mate. There have been attacks on animals in the past, but never this many in such a short period of time. Coyotes are territorial animals, and Small noted that the five attacks on reservation grounds took place at different times of the day, within 100 yards of one another, near a landmark called Fox Rock, where surrounding habitat makes it a likely spot for a coyote den. He theorized that they may have been defending pups, in a year when the food supply is lower than usual. “They might be under extra stress because there’s not a lot of food,’’ he said. “They live a lean existence anyhow, and this year there are not a lot of rodents” and other small mammals. Populations in nature are often cyclical, and the past two years have been thin for acorns. “When you knock something out on the bottom of the food chain, it trickles up the ladder,’’ Small said. Another attack he heard about was in the Thistle Street neighborhood on the edge of the reservation, Small said, and the seventh was at the Gannon golf course, which abuts the reservation. Dog walkers have continued to use the reservation, and not all of them are nervous. Marblehead’s Alison Howe, 38, walked Jada, her half-rottweiler, half-black lab, and at one point let the dog off the leash. “She stays pretty much by my side and doesn't get too far away,’’ said Howe, who said she wouldn’t let the news deter her from spending time in the woods. “We all have to get along,’’ she said. “It’s their area, too. Maybe we have to be a little more vigilant. I’ve been camping and hiking all my life. The last time we went I heard coyotes; it's just part of nature.’’ In the case of two large dogs that required medical treatment, the coyote or coyotes “got a hold of their bellies and grabbed the skin and tore the stomach open,’’ Small said. “If the dogs had been a little farther away or if it had been a smaller dog, it would probably not have gone so well.’’ Small was responsible for posting the notices at reservation entrances. They read: Keep your dogs leashed at all times while in the Lynn Woods Reservation. Unleashed pets are in danger of injury or death as a result of contact with coyote and other wildlife.’’ Authorities also recommend that humans reinforce any natural fear of humans that coyotes may have by making noise and shouting. “You can yell, or bang a stick against a tree’’ to make noise, Small said. “Act like a caveman and they’ll leave.’’ This is not the only time coyotes have been in the news this year. In January, Methuen police shot and killed a coyote that had killed a pet chihuahua a few days earlier. In February, Wellesley police issued a coyote alert after the animals attacked two dogs, killing one of them. Tom O’Shea, assistant director of wildlife for the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, said that aggression toward a dog is typical coyote behavior. “If a coyote demonstrates indifference or boldness [to people], that one you want to notify officials about right away,’’ O’Shea said. “Even worse is if it follows you or approaches a dog on a leash — approaching and showing outright aggression. We have had them, and those coyotes have been removed.’’ O’Shea preceded Small as ranger in the Lynn Woods in the 1990s, when the coyotes first appeared and were a novelty. Since first appearing in the state in the 1950s, the population has grown. Officials now estimate there are 10,000 coyotes in Massachusetts. “They’re in every city and town in the state, and the vast majority fear people and are elusive and stay away,’’ he said. “We want people to recognize the behavior of the coyote that could become a public safety threat.’’ While the word had definitely gotten out to many of the dog walkers — who had their dogs on leashes and were avoiding Fox Rock — it did not reach all of them. On Saturday, Lynn’s Sylvia Ortiz, 24, was getting ready to walk Spikey, her mini poodle-bichon frise cross-breed. “I haven’t heard anything,’’ she said. “Thanks for letting me know. He doesn’t like to be on the leash, but now that you’ve told me, I'm definitely going to keep him on the leash."
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Sean Kelly reporting - WCVB 5 News
Published UPDATED 8:13 AM EDT May 17, 2012
BOSTON, MA - High school sophomore Jed Aubertin took his dog for a walk down a dirt trail in late February, and a coyote attacked him. "I didn't have time to square off with it," Aubertin said. "I went for my knife, but it was already in the air at my neck." Coyote attacks on humans are considered rare, but they can be vicious when they happen, like the bite on a 2-year-old girl's head in Weymouth or on 9-year-old Alex Cazmay in Haverhill. "I thought it was a dog," Cazmay said. "That's why I put my hand out. Then, it bit me." Often it's the smaller animals, like rabbits, running into trouble when it's a one-on-one fight. In farmer Tyler Kimball's case, a pack of coyotes made a meal out of his $1,200 buffalo. "And when I see a coyote, I am going to shoot him," Kimball said. Each of these stories happened in the last year in Massachusetts or New Hampshire. Then, there was the wild run at the Ted Williams Tunnel. A coyote on the loose scampered through the Big Dig. If it seems like they're showing up everywhere these days, it's because they are. "Even if you haven't seen coyotes in your area, it's best to assume that they could be in your yard," said Laura Conlee of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Wildlife biologists estimate the summer population in Massachusetts will hold steady at about 10,000, including their pups. Conlee says more coyotes show up in Eastern Mass because there's so much to eat in the suburbs. Things like rabbits and unsecured garbage are popular with the animal. They are opportunistic and omnivorous so they will eat whatever is easiest and most abundant," Conlee said. Coyotes are very territorial, especially in late winter months. Dogs, and in rare cases small children, can be confused as competition or prey. "If people see coyotes, it's important not to harass them. Never ever feed them," said Conlee. Biologists suggest making a lot of noise to scare them. Or, if it's too late, as it was for Aubertin, fight back. "He kept jumping at my throat, so I kept hitting him right in the teeth," Aubertin said. Wildlife officials said the best thing you can do to protect your pets, especially smaller ones, is to keep them leashed and supervised.
By Martine Powers Globe Staff
Posted: May 12, 2012
SAUGUS, MA - With sunny skies and balmy temperatures, Friday would have been a perfect day for nine holes at Cedar Glen Golf Course. But a freshly constructed dam - a 25-foot-wide mound of stripped branches and bark - had turned swaths of pristine greenway into swampland. The course was so waterlogged Thursday by beavers’ handiwork that Burton Page, who runs the business, was forced to close down for the day, estimating $10,000 in lost revenue. “If we get an inch of rain,’’ Page said, “we’ll be out of business.’’ Laws to protect the animals have prevented the golf course’s managers from taking any action against their new tenants, who are blocking a section of the Saugus River, which runs through the grounds. Page is hoping for a compromise - keep the dam intact and divert the river to drain the course of standing water - but the Saugus Board of Health denied a request for an emergency permit to alter the water flow around the dam. “We’re not looking to take their homes away,’’ Page said. “We just want to get the water moving around them. We think we can find a way to do that, if we could have the chance.’’ In the short term, maintenance staff have put out wooden pallets to help golfers traipse from one hole to the next. But it’s a less-than-perfect fix. On Thursday, the water level was so high that the pallets floated away. ‘We’re not looking to take their homes away. We just want to get the water moving around them.’ According to state law, residents with beaver problems can take complaints to their local board of health to apply for an emergency permit that would allow them to have the animals trapped or divert water around their dams. But such permits are only granted if the board of health determines that the beavers’ presence has caused a threat to public health or safety. The Saugus director of public health, Frank P. Giacalone, could not be reached for comment Friday, but Page said the Board of Health said the Cedar Glen Golf Course does not meet that criteria. Zipping around the course in a golf cart Friday afternoon, course superintendent Matt Ellsworth pointed out waterlogged areas and a footbridge that once straddled the narrow river but now sits like an island in a pool of water and mud. Ellsworth said he first noticed flooding in early April. It took a few days to realize that beavers were the culprits. “It gets discouraging when people come here to play and you have to turn them away,’’ Ellsworth said. He said the city has been unresponsive to requests for information about how to get official approval to handle the problem. “I want to do it by regulations,’’ Ellsworth said. “We’ll do all the work. We just want to get the OK to do it, because it’s encroaching into our business area and it’s only going to get worse.’’ Ellsworth said he is also concerned that the standing water will cause an influx of mosquitoes that could carry disease and become a public health hazard, in addition to making the golfing experience unpleasant for his customers. “I know [beavers] help the ecosystem and stuff,’’ Ellsworth said. “But when they start affecting homes and businesses, that’s another problem.’’ Despite the presence of the river, the course has never before experienced problems with beavers, he said. Beavers have only recently become a more common sight in Massachusetts. Scott Jackson, who teaches in the department of environmental conservation at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and specializes in beavers, said the animals were almost entirely wiped out of Massachusetts centuries ago because of excessive trapping and deforestation. Slowly, colonies have moved back east from New York, but they only reached Eastern Massachusetts in the past 15 to 20 years, Jackson said. “I grew up in Massachusetts, and we never talked about beavers or saw them,’’ Jackson said. “All this has happened fairly quickly.’’ Jackson explained that if a property owner with a beaver problem does not qualify for an emergency permit from a board of health, he or she can request a permit from the Conservation Commission, but that process requires a public hearing and could take weeks. Even then, there are concerns about reestablishing water flow too quickly; another property downstream can experience inadvertent flooding. In the meantime, the beavers have proven fodder for clubhouse wisecracks. Want to go for a round of 18? one golfer asked at the front counter. Better be prepared to take a swim. Bruce McLeod, 77, of Peabody chuckled when asked what he thought about the beaver situation. “If we get a little bit of rain, we won’t be able to play at all,’’ McLeod said, “unless you get us some boats.’’ Martine Powers can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @martinepowers.
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By Meredith Church firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted May. 2, 2012 @ 12:01 am, Updated May 2, 2012 at 2:00 AM
Littleton, MA - To some, a coyote snatching the beloved family pet would seem like a living nightmare, however for Littleton resident Ghislaine Bourdon, it was a reality. On a night in early February, Bourdon, dressed in only a nightgown and slippers, was bringing in the laundry with her dogs Mia, 4, and Carter, 2, both Shetland Sheepdogs, commonly known as shelties. Mia was 12 feet away from her owner, according to Bourdon, when the prowling predator snatched the helpless dog from Bourdon’s Pine Road yard. “I could hear leaves rustling; it was the sound of the coyote dragging Mia,” said Bourdon. The moon, casting a metallic glow over the swampy woods, was Bourdon’s only source of light as she pursued the coyote and its victim through the prickly bushes. “I didn’t have a flashlight. I was chasing after Mia and the coyote, and Carter was barking and barking frantically. I told him to stop barking so I could hear the coyote,” she said. Bourdon, accompanied by Carter, approached the coyote’s den, which was located underneath an oak tree. Bourdon then called 911 and shortly after, police cruisers showed up accompanied by Phyllis Tower, Boxborough’s animal control officer who works with Littleton as well. The officers, Tower, and Bourdon split off into groups to search for Mia. Minutes later, the terrified owner found her dog in the bushes, apparently abandoned by the coyote. “She was a mangled, bloody mess,” said Bourdon. “I picked her up and drove her over to the Animal Emergency Care in Acton.” The vets didn’t know if Mia would live or not. Mia’s windpipe had a hole in it, impairing her ability to breathe properly. She spent four days at the Animal Emergency Care before she was finally allowed to go home. “She had to be fed special canned food from the vet through a syringe,” said Bourdon. “She was also on several pain medications and antibiotics.” Since that chilling night in February, Bourdon has put up a fence around her yard, and Mia has recovered from her treacherous battle that nearly rendered her a lifeless heap in the woods. But that doesn’t mean the risk has been completely diminished; the coyotes have made their presence known. “I have heard the yipping of the coyote pups,” said Bourdon. There are things that Littleton residents can do to lessen the risk of coyote attacks, according to Tower. “Birdseed will attract coyotes, as well as grass clippings and compost piles,” said Tower. “You should really keep pets close by. Coyotes will come out during the day if they are hungry enough.” It is crucial to report all coyote sightings or any other strange animal sightings, she said. Do not approach the animal and contact Littleton Animal Control at 978-952-2300.
Littleton dog Injured
dog in Littleton
Susanbushreports - Freelance journalist
Susan Bush spent two years as a reporter for the North Adams Transcript
newspaper. Ms. Bush spent four years as a Berkshire Eagle writer and two years
as editor/writer for www.iberkshires.com. Ms. Bush is a contributing writer for
www.vtdigger.org and owns a photography studio in southern Vermont.
CBS Boston boston.cbslocal.com
March 23, 2012 4:44 PM
BOSTON, MA (CBS) – A coyote turned heads as it ran through downtown Boston Friday afternoon. According to the Animal Rescue League, the coyote eventually was safely corralled in the Chinatown area. Several people reported seeing the animal running on Lincoln and Summer Streets. It was not immediately clear how the coyote managed to make its way into that busy area if the city.
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By Peter Schworm - Boston Globe Staff
Posted February 8, 2012
Brookline, MA - 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. Last month in Haverhill, a coyote bit a 9-year-old girl, only the fifth documented case of a coyote attack on a human in Massachusetts since the 1950s. Last week in Wellesley, coyotes attacked an ailing deer and two dogs in separate events, killing one just outside its owner’s house. Specialists say that coyotes pose virtually no threat to humans, but that pet owners should not let small dogs and cats run free. “It’s normal coyote behavior to grab small animals if left unattended,’’ said Linda Huebner, deputy director of advocacy for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “People need to keep their animals safe and supervised.’’ Wildlife officials estimate that there are up to 10,000 coyotes in Massachusetts and they are widely scattered throughout the Boston area. Although typically associated with the wild, coyotes are highly adaptable and are drawn to safe, dependable food sources such as bird feeders, pet bowls, and unsealed trash cans. “We’ve turned our yards into drive-throughs,’’ said Michelle Hamel, senior animal control officer in Haverhill, a city on the New Hampshire border. Hamel sees coyotes daily, and said residents who are uneasy at their proximity often have only themselves to blame. Coyotes are instinctively afraid of humans, wildlife specialists say, but over time become more comfortable unless given reason to feel otherwise. “Most of the time coyotes are not getting the message that people can be a threat,’’ said Marion Larson, outreach coordinator for the state division of fisheries and wildlife. Specialists say coyotes are easily scared off by loud noises, having objects thrown at them, or being sprayed with a hose. But many, especially those caught off guard by an encounter or afraid the coyote might respond with aggression, simply let the animal be. Eventually, coyotes realize they have little to fear and before long are strolling through backyards like they own them. Over time, that boldness can lead to increased aggressiveness, specialists say. On rare occasions, such coyotes will approach pets on a leash and approach or follow people. In those cases, residents should report the incident to animal control, Larson said. Concern about coyotes has spurred calls to remove or destroy the animals, but officials say such steps would be counterproductive, and say peaceful co-existence is the only solution. “We can’t possibly solve problems with coyotes by killing them,’’ Huebner said. “They’ll simply expand their range and breed more.’’ By law, wildlife officials can only destroy an animal if it is determined to be a public safety threat. Attacking an unattended pet does not qualify, Huebner said. Coyotes can be hunted and trapped in boxes, but leg traps for recreational use are banned. Residents like Tolkoff say aggressive action is needed to ward off a growing incursion. “We’ve lost four cats on my street,’’ she said. “And neighbors have complained coyotes have followed them. It’s changed our quality of life.’’ In Wellesley, dog owners said coyotes are regular visitors to Centennial Reservation, a popular walking area, but tend to keep to themselves. Maggie Wilson said her dog Cooper, who weighs in at over 100 pounds, has been known to chase them. “Keep Centennial safe, Cooper!’’ Wilson said as the unleashed dog bounded off across the open field. Peter Schworm can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globepete.
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Christina Hager reporting, WBZ-TV CBS Boston
February 7, 2012 11:42 PM
WELLESLEY, MA (CBS) – Keep a close eye on those small dogs. That’s what Wellesley’s Animal Control officer is telling residents to do after a rash of coyote encounters. “We’re really afraid of coyotes,” says 10-year-old Vicky Driscoll, who lives near Cliff Road, where a small dog is recovering from a coyote attack last week. At around the same time, coyotes also preyed on a sick deer. The most serious incident was on Bristol Road, where a dog was killed by coyotes Saturday. Several doors down, the Fitzgeralds had a close encounter with their pug, Amos. “Right there in the middle of the back yard was a very large coyote just standing there looking at me,” says Tom Fitzgerald. “I yelled at it. It looked at me, and then trotted off. He would make a delicious meal, and we certainly don’t want that to happen.” According to Wellesley Animal Control, coyotes are more active this time of year especially at dawn and dusk, because it’s mating season. Officials are telling people not to leave pet food or bird seed outside.
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By Staff reports - Wicked Local.com - Wellesley
Posted Feb. 6, 2012 @ 12:01 am, Updated Feb 6, 2012 at 6:03 AM
Wellesley, MA - Wellesley Animal Control Officer Sue Webb reports that a small dog was attacked early Friday morning off Cliff Road. When the owner, who was watching out a window, ran outside, the coyote dropped the dog, which was taken to a vet and is recovering. On the same day, just off Great Plain Avenue, a coyote killed an injured deer. Webb said she helped a homeowner pull the dead deer deeper into the woods so it could feed on that instead of a pet. On Saturday, a small dog was attacked on Bristol Road. The homeowner told the Townsman that she went outside abut 7:05 a.m., and within minutes, two very healthy-looking coyotes had attacked her pet within 10 feet of the house. The dog died in its owners' arms. "Coyotes are around all year and are not nocturnal," Webb said, "but are most active at dawn and dusk. If people see them, they should yell at them while running toward them waving arms, or throwing something like ice cubes to get into their flight zone so they take off. "Ignoring them or running inside gives them the message that they can hang out there. They do roam easily, five square miles or more a night, so it just happens that one was going by at the time people let their dog out., Especially dogs under 20 pounds should be outside with the owner close by them. Just the presence of the person walking a leashed dog will be enough to keep the coyote away." Webb said it is mating season for coyotes and skunks right now. "They can get around well this year, not like last year, when all the snow hampered their movements." Webb said she has been getting calls about rodents and squirrels in eaves and attics. "The acorn mast was sparse this year so any place they find food (such as under bird feeeders) is a good place to set up housekeeping." Foxes and coyotes will be attracted by the rodents, since that's their main source of food.
NECN News Story - Lauren Collins reporter
Laura Krantz - Metrowest Daily News
Published January 8, 2014,
HOPKINTON, MA – A trapper hired to stem flooding at Legacy Farms caught 42 beavers last month, he said Tuesday. Malcolm Speicher, who this winter also trapped for homeowners off North and South Mill streets, said he spent 15 days on the south side of 730-acre East Main Street housing development. Beavers can endanger homes, buildings and septic systems if their dams cause flooding. "We just kept going and going and going, and we just kept finding and finding and finding," Speicher said. They trapped in about 200 acres near Clinton and Front streets, he said, where homes haven't yet been built. "Hopefully it's been diminished," said Legacy Farms developer Roy MacDowell. The flooding had not harmed Legacy's homes, condos or apartments, he said, but was mainly in areas in which he plans to develop in the future. More importantly, the flooding was endangering bordering homes. Speicher said he found one big pond and several smaller dams, houses and beaver runs all across the land. He said a few devices, which help water flow through dams, should prohibit any new beavers who move in from causing flooding. "Once they get things done down there and establish the way they want it then the beavers can stay," he said. Developers plan to build Legacy Farms in five phases. Pulte Homes, which is building the houses and condos, last fall bought a second parcel from MacDowell. Speicher, who trapped 16 beavers for the North and South Mill streets neighbors, said he believes there are more beavers on the north side of Rte. 135, property MacDowell also owns. The trapper, who applies through the town for permission to use lethal traps that are otherwise prohibited, said he is talking with the local Department of Public Works about also trapping near Front Street, which floods from nearby beaver dams. On that street, however, the dam is on private property, so Speicher said he would have to ask permission from the homeowner. The town would pay, he said, because it is flooding a public road. "If the property owner won't allow anything then I don't know what they're going to do," he said. Speicher said the last trapper hired by the DWP to trap along Front Street accidentally trapped in the wrong spot. Contact Laura Krantz at 508-626-4429 ormailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @laurakrantz.
East Falmouth Dog Killed
Officials, residents to discuss Newton coyote problem after dog is
By Grahame Turner (Patch Staff) - Brookline Patch
Updated December 7, 2011 at 4:12 pm
Brookline, MA - Former schoolteacher Anne Tolkoff, representing an unofficial coalition of Corey Hill residents, brought their concerns about the coyotes to the Selectmen at last night's meeting. She said the group had recently met at her house, with over 30 neighbors in attendance, venting their worries about the fur-bearing canines. "I never thought I’d come before the board to ask for protection for my children and grandchildren," Tolkoff began. She brought a cane and a party noisemaker to demonstrate how she feels she must walk her dog with coyotes nearby. She noted that the town's animal control officer commented to her that the coyotes were "here first." She responded that she had lived in town for 40 years, and felt she was there first, especially as the coyote sightings in her area had only picked up in the last 18 months or so. "Unless a coyote is aggressive to a human, we cannot step in and put the coyote down. There is laws that prevent that, is laws that prevent relocation. Those laws will have to be changed if we want to do something," explained Police Chief Daniel O'Leary. "Just being around not a 'destroyable' offense." The Selectmen reiterated that, saying that the hands of police are tied because of the coyotes' protected status as a fur-bearing animal. Police are legally prevented from action, on penalty of a fine. "I will say that we really can’t go against the law," O'Leary concluded. O'Leary also added that police are tracking coyote sighting calls, and are seeing a shift in reports from the south part of Brookline toward the central and north part of town. Chief of environmental health at the , Pat Maloney, commented "We have been working with police department. We meet monthly as part of animal control agenda, and [coyote control has] been a very frustrating issue to deal with." He noted that he and Public Health Director Dr. Alan Balsam feel the law should be changed, but that they are "stymied as to what to do" until that happens. The department has "stepped up" enforcement of code violations in neighborhoods with coyote sightings, hoping to remove some food sources. Statistically, coyote attacks are very rare. Since first being confirmed in Massachusetts in 1950, the Mass Audubon Society reports four attacks on people. The site goes on to note, Dogs, on the other hand, have attacked and killed 43 humans in the United States between January, 2010 and September, 2011. Coyotes have a healthy fear of humans and just want to be left alone. Tolkoff called on the Selectmen to develop some sort of action plan, saying "we really need some help here." Suggestions for solutions included neighborhood information, proper lighting and contraceptives for the coyotes. She noted that Larz Anderson Park employs decoy coyotes. Selectmen Chair Betsy DeWitt noted that it would require action at a state level. Newton has had problems in the past, she noted adding, " It will take a coalition greater than one municipality.” Selectwoman Nancy Daly noted that she had been speaking to legislators for a while about the issue. Her sources explain that the coyotes are following wild turkeys' progress through town. When Patch , he commented, "What can I do? I can write a law, [but] it would have to get passed. It doesn't solve the problem in the short-term." "the problem with relocation is that we put it in someone else’s back yard." Selectman Ken Goldstein commented, "The important points we heard about from you today are about public awareness. I think that’s something this board can take point on." For more information about living with coyotes in the neighborhood, see the guide on "Co-Existing with Coyotes," the MassWildlife information page on coyotes or the guide released by Brookline police earlier in the year.
two-year-old girl in Weymouth, MA
Post Signs Warning of Coyotes, Foxes
Upton looks to
clear culvert clogged by debris, beavers
The Daily Hampshire Gazette - Greenfield "letter to the editor" - Joseph S. Larson [UMASS Professor Emeritus - MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife Board of Directors Memeber
February, 27, 2011
To the editor: Having
spent 10 years in Maryland and Massachusetts involved in studying beaver
populations and behavior, I read with interest Linda Hubner's guest column ("It
is better to outsmart, not kill, region's beavers," Gazette, July 11) on her
views on how to best control beaver damage. Her article contains a serious error
when she states "Trapping has never controlled the beaver population and is, at
best, a temporary local solution." Beavers are actually highly susceptible
to trapping. American Indians and French trappers virtually wiped out beavers in
eastern North America by unregulated trapping to feed the appetite of the
European fur markets. Today, the many states and Canadian provinces that do
permit conventional regulated leg-hold trapping are aware of this. They tightly
control the methods of trapping in order to prevent another wipeout of the
species. The trapping seasons, the type of traps and their placement, the number
of animals to be taken, and sometimes a restriction on who can trap specific
streams are regulated. Traps are required to carry the name of the trapper and
he or she must submit the animals they trap to the state wildlife agency so that
the number, size, sex, and age of animals trapped can be used as the basis for
changes in the regulations. One goal of the Massachusetts leg-hold
trapping ban was to eliminate "commercial" trapping. By the 1990s the value of a
beaver pelt had dropped so low (less than $30) that trapping had slowed, but not
controlled, the increase of beavers in the state. Since the ban on leg-hold
traps went into effect beavers have spread eastward and commercial trapping is
now alive and well, just in another form. Private firms are now called in to
trap beavers where water level control devices don't work. A widely circulated
2006 report by Mary Spock at the Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine reports
that to have these firms remove problem beavers entails "costs varying from
$2,000 for eight months at one location to $100-200 per beaver" at other sites. As the debate on how to best control beaver
damage continues unabated, there continue to be sites where water flow control
devices to "deceive" beavers don't work. Beavers keep reproducing, traveling and
providing commercial income. - Joseph S. Larson , Amherst [Linda
Huebner is a Vermont state resident, The
Humane Society of the United States
(HSUS) New England Region coordinator based out of Jacksonville VT, and the
Deputy Advocacy Director for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA).
, Amherst [Linda Huebner is a Vermont state resident, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) New England Region coordinator based out of Jacksonville VT, and the Deputy Advocacy Director for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA).
The Daily Hampshire Gazettte - Staff Writer
Published: July, 7, 2011
Published: July, 7, 2011
GREENFIELD, MA - Beavers have taken up residence for the third year in a row in a brook that runs along Wildwood Avenue and they continue to cause sewer system problems for the town. At the same time, the Legislature is considering a bill that would give property owners more help in dealing with troublesome beavers. The beavers have dammed up part of the Cherry Rum Brook, which runs from the rear of the Cherry Rum Plaza on Bernardston Road south to the end of Wildwood near French King Highway, causing a lot of extra water to go into the town's sewer line there, according to the town's public works director. It's costing the town money to treat swamp water that doesn't need to be treated," said DPW Director Sandra Shields. "That's not a good thing, especially at a time when we're looking at all of the ways we can cut costs." Alan Twarog, the town's assistant engineer, said the beavers keep coming back to that area. The town has had to remove a dam two years in a row and plans to do the same this week. Each time, the dams have impacted our sewer line," said Twarog. "Our sewer lines are old and have cracks and some open joints, and the water is getting into the line. We're treating water that doesn't need to be treated." Shields said the excess water increases pump costs at the treatment plant and decreases the plant's efficiency. Twarog said the town plans to hire a contractor to line the inside of the sewer main at Wildwood but, until then, will have to breach the dam as part of a short-term solution. The town has also hired a trapper, who has caught four beavers and removed them from the brook to date. Shields said the dammed water typically backs up into Wildwood residents' yards, but the town has not heard about any serious problems in backyards this year. "We're not getting phone calls about water in people's yards," she said. Change the rules. State Rep. Stephen Kulik, D-Worthington, cosponsored the bill with state Rep. Anne Gobi, D-Spencer, that would give individuals and towns one more place to go when they are having problems with beavers. Currently, an individual or town may only go to the local health department or state Department of Public Health for a special permit to deal with beavers that are causing a public safety or health issue, said Stuart Loosemore, Gobi's staff director and general counsel. Under the new bill filed by Gobi, a special permit could also be obtained from the state Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. "This bill does not look to repeal the 1996 referendum that banned trapping," said Loosemore. That bill banned hunting beaver with leghold traps and effectively stopped private trappers from controlling growing beaver populations. "The new one would still allow someone to obtain an emergency permit under the provisions allowed within the laws of the state, but the person could do so through FIsheries and wildlife biologists." Loosemore said the bill was created because Gobi has heard from many constituents over the years who have complained about beavers. "They've complained about sections of their land being flooded because of beaver dams, state highways being compromised, wells and septic systems being flooded - it's a big problem and many times a public safety or health concern," said Loosemore, who said under the new bill the state would also begin keeping better records of all permits issued and how many beavers are trapped each year. "Then we'd know exactly how big a problem we're talking about," said Loosemore. The bill allows for a "balanced approach that encourages both regulated non-lethal and lethal management methods." Beavers are protected under the state's Wetlands Protection Act for their ability to create wetlands. People caught destroying a beaver dam without a permit face up to a $25,000 fine. MassWildlife provides technical information and legal avenues that enable landowners and others to deal with beaver-related issues. For more information on problems with beavers, call MassWildlife at 508-389-6300
Natick has one big dam problem
Beavers challenge suburbs
Dog On Clifton St., Sightings Increase
April 8, 2011 By Bill Kirk email@example.com
LAWRENCE, MA - A pair of beavers appear to have outsmarted a device designed to deceive the devious but industrious rodents, causing chronic flooding along a section of Route 114 near Market Basket and Interstate 495. Now, state and city officials are trying to come up with a permanent solution to the flooding problem. Last year, workers for Mass. Highway installed a piece of equipment known as a 'beaver-deceiver' a metal mesh box placed around one end of a corrugated pipe the other end of which is inserted into the dam. The device fools the beavers into thinking their dam is working, but in fact the contraption allows water to get through the dam and drain the pond to acceptable levels. Somehow during the winter, however, the beavers figured out a way to clog the deceiver. When the ice melted, the water level rose and spilled onto the adjacent highway. Over the last couple of weeks, following a series of rain storms and upstream snow-melt, the water in the beaver pond created an enormous puddle on the highway. Periodically, Mass. Highway workers have descended upon the site with iron rakes to create a V-notch in the dam, allowing water to flow over the dam and drop the pond level to stop the flooding. But then the beavers just come back with more sticks and mud and rebuild the dam even higher, creating more flooding. Dan McCarthy, Lawrence land planner, said he is meeting Monday or Tuesday with Mass. Highway officials at Den Rock Park, adjacent to the pond, to discuss ways to stop the beavers. "We need to figure out a long-term solution," McCarthy said. "Right now, the highway department has put a notch into the dam to release the water pressure. But sooner or later, the beavers will repair it." He said there were a number of options. "There are several alternatives, the most drastic is removing the beavers," he said. "I don't believe that's the solution. They are so populous, if you take an established family out, another family will come in." Plus, he said, the pond next to the road is the terminus of an extensive water system that winds up into Andover, starting in a huge pond that is also probably home to beavers. The rodents are not just prolific builders. They are also prolific breeders. Every year they have a new litter of kits. Once they reach maturity, after about two years, they leave their families and head out on their own, in search of suitable habitat. Recently, one walked into the Wendy's parking lot on Common Street before it was caught and released back into the wild behind the MSPCA in Methuen. It was deemed that the animal was probably a juvenile, since it weighed about 20 pounds. Full-grown beavers can weight 60 to 90 pounds. The beavers at the Den Rock pond look to be about 50 pounds each, McCarthy said.
linked to expanding beaver pond
Flooding on Rte. 16 in Holliston blamed on rain, beavers
By Kendall Hatch/Daily News staff
A group of the town's most troublesome engineers are once again filling yards with water and could pose a public safety hazard on Washington Street. An influx of beaver activity in the Hopping Brook area is filling local wetlands to the brink with water, which could spill over onto Rte. 16 and, given the right weather conditions, turn to ice if the problem isn't fixed soon, Holliston Conservation Agent Charles Katuska said. "What we are trying to do right now is head this off at the path," he said. "The issue here is primarily public safety." While the threat is not imminent, a heavy rain has the potential to bring up the water level on both sides of Washington Street west of Paul Road to the point where the road floods, Katuska said. The National Weather Service is predicting rain for Sunday and Monday. Right now, the water level is about a foot below the surface of the road, Katuska said. Under normal conditions, the water is about two feet lower. "The floodplain areas are full," he said. There are 300 to 400 acres of land downstream that serve as flood storage - including some land owned by the Army Corps of Engineers - that has been disrupted by beaver dams. Beavers have in recent years been a thorn in the side of the Conservation Commission, which talked again Tuesday night about how to remedy the problem. "It's probably the largest colony of beavers in the state," board member Geoff Zeamer said yesterday. "They have eliminated most of the flood storage in the area." Zeamer and Katuska said the problem affects multiple towns. Beaver activity in Medway, which is downstream, has added to the problem. Katuska said yesterday that he was trying to contact officials in Medway to work together on the problem. Katuska also said that the drop in temperatures has added a level of urgency to the beaver problem. If the dams freeze, they will be difficult to modify or breach, and snow melting in the spring, along with spring rains, could raise water levels higher, he said. A number of low-lying septic tanks in the area that could also be at risk if the problem isn't fixed, he said. Katuska said officials are trying to figure out the best way to remove the beavers and their dams but said they will likely start at dams further down the watershed and work their way back up. He said he has contacted the state Department of Transportation because Washington Street is a state-owned road, as well as the Army Corps of Engineers. But modifying or removing the dams alone won't solve the problem. The town will likely have to bring in someone to trap the beavers, which would be euthanized because wildlife cannot be relocated.
investigates beaver dam flooding at Rosemary Brook
Property owner blocks
beaver trapping plan
Escaping a dog-eat-dog world
Beaver activity gnaws at
man sees coyote attack and carry off his pet chihuahua
Coyote activity getting ugly
in Gr. Lynn
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Flooding threatens Middle Road - Newbury officials fear roadway may be
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By Christian Schiavone
The Patriot Ledger
Posted Sep 21, 2010 @ 05:48 AM
WEYMOUTH, MA - Two Weymouth police officers are receiving precautionary treatment for rabies after coming into contact with a rabid fox. Mayor Sue Kay said the two officers were exposed to the virus in separate incidents last Wednesday when a young rabid fox made its way into a South Weymouth neighborhood. Officials are now concerned there could be more rabid foxes in the area, which is near the Ralph Talbot Elementary School. The fox reportedly attacked a white bulldog shortly after 3 p.m. in front of its owner on Bradford Road. An off-duty Weymouth police officer on his way to work heard the owners calls for help and was able to get the dog to safety, but came into contact with the foxs saliva, Kay said. The dog suffered some scratches and is also being treated to prevent rabies. Just before 7 p.m., the fox returned to the area and police were called back. Two officers followed it into the woods where an officer shot and killed it. A second officer was also exposed to the animals saliva while disposing of the body, Kay said. Lab tests later confirmed the fox had rabies. Our concern is the Talbot area, Kay said. If this was a pup, then there is a mother and probably siblings. Kay said she is planning to send a flyer to between 70 and 80 homes in the area urging residents to keep small pets inside and watch out for wild animals acting aggressively or appearing sick. Laura Hajduk, a biologist at the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, said its not definite there are other rabid foxes in the area since animals tend to isolate themselves as their symptoms progress.By the time theyre exhibiting those signs that its affecting their neurological functions, theyre acting really abnormally, she said. Its not acting like a normal fox would act so its not going to be socializing with other members of the family group. The two police officers are being treated as a precaution, said Lt. Rick Fuller. Its probably just precautionary, but they are going through the shots, he said. Kay said both officers are still on active duty while they undergo treatment and the main concern now is the potential of other rabid foxes. Last summer, rabid foxes were blamed for attacks on people in Brockton and Whitman. In 2008, a 72-year-old Bridgewater man rescued his elderly neighbor from a suspected rabid fox that attacked her outside her home. So far this year, six foxes have tested positive for rabies statewide compared to 11 in all of 2009 and eight the year before, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Christian Schiavone may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2010 The Patriot Ledger. Some rights reserved
Coyote in suburb attacks
caught and killed
attack kills cat, prompts warning
Police believe coyotes responsible for three fatal cat attacks in Florence
section of Northampton
Residents fear coyote attacks
Caught on Camera: Animal
attacks Norton dog
Toddler, 2 adults attacked by fox
Coyote may be responsible in killing of cat
Meetings to seek solution to problematic Leverett-Montague beaver pond
As Wigwam Pond
waters recede, beaver traps are pulled
Dedham resident traps beavers
Raccoon that bit woman on foot was rabid
Coyotes spotted on
By Scott Merzbach and Owen Boss
Amherst Bulletin - Staff Writers story
Published on May 07, 2010
AMHERST, MA - A coyote, like this one seen in Williamsburg in 2008, attacked two dogs in Amherst along the Ken Cuddeback Trail. The attacks spurred the town to temporarily close the trail. AMHERST - The Ken Cuddeback Trail in South Amherst has been closed temporarily after a coyote twice attacked dogs being walked in the area over the last week. Animal Welfare officer Carol Hepburn said Monday she requested the conservation trail be temporarily closed out of concern for the safety of smaller dogs. The first report came April 26 at 12:52 p.m. after the coyote bit a dog, which was later brought to a veterinarian for evaluation and treatment. A Labrador retriever was attacked two days later. Hepburn said both dogs are expected to recover. After the second attack, Hepburn said, she and a state wildlife official attempted to locate the coyote. "I'm trying to remove the coyote from the area," Hepburn said. She has also gone to the area twice with police officers. Though the coyote has been seen, it has fled into the woods when spotted. Hepburn said there is no evidence that the coyote is aggressive toward humans, but she still would like to deal with the coyote before reopening the trail. The KC Trail, as it is often called, runs through the Hop Brook and Wentworth Farm conservation areas and passes between Shays Street, South East Street, Potwine Lane and Middle Street. According to the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife's website, the eastern coyote moved into the central and western part of the state in the 1950s and now exists in every town except for those on Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. They pose little threat to humans but have been known to attack household pets. The majority of coyotes found locally are the size of a medium-sized dog, but with longer, thicker fur. They have a long, bushy, black-tipped tail that is usually carried pointing down and are typically between 4 and 5 feet in length and weigh between 33 and 40 pounds, according to the website. Although they are known to feed on whatever is available, including fruit, berries and small rodents, they are also known to prey on unprotected pets, unsecured garbage and pet food left outdoors. According to the website, coyotes are territorial but habitually shy and elusive. They occupy territories ranging from 2 to 30 miles and typically breed in February and March, yielding litters of up to eight pups in April or May. In Massachusetts, the coyote hunting season opens on the first Saturday after Columbus Day and closes on the following March 8. In 2007 and 2008, however, the DFW extended coyote season by five weeks and both years resulted in state records for total number killed. To prevent conflicts with coyotes, the DFW urges state residents to secure their garbage, never try to feed or pet a coyote, keep household pets restrained and pet food indoors if possible, fence in livestock and produce, and alert neighbors if one is seen in or around the neighborhood. If an area resident is ever threatened by a coyote, public safety officials including local police departments and the state Environmental Police have the authority to respond and put down the animal. However, according to regulations pertaining to the handling of problem animals, coyotes taking pets are not considered an immediate threat to human safety and therefore safety officials are not authorized to remove them.
Cleanup Continues In Beaver Dam Break
veterinarian confirms case of rabies in horse
By Amy Saltzman/Stoneham@cnc.com
April 29, 2010
Coyote attacks concern Mill
By Kris Johnson/Correspondent - WickedLocal.com
Posted Jun. 25, 2010 @ 12:01 am, Updated Jun 25, 2010 at 5:39 PM
WESTBOROUGH, MA - Selectmen and wildlife experts are hoping to educate residents about coyotes after a local dog was attacked and killed in front of its family on South Street . AnnMarie Trebendis addressed the board Tuesday on behalf of her niece, who has lost four pets in the last six months to coyotes. Trebendis, a resident of Cross Street, told selectmen that her niece had lost three cats recently. However, an incident on Monday, June 14, drove Trebendis to make her concerns public. On that afternoon, Trebendis' niece and her family were on the deck of their home on South Street. As Trebendis' 11-year-old grand-nephew watched, a coyote suddenly appeared out of the woods and attacked the family's 7-pound Maltese, which was playing in the yard. The coyote killed and carried off the Maltese before anyone could react. "It happened like lightning," explained Trebendis. Concerned over her family's safety, Trebendis brought the issue before selectmen. "I truly feel that the coyotes are a public safety issue," she told board members. "Residents of our neighborhood are concerned about going into our own yards." Westborough Animal Control Officer John Keefe and Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife biologist Laura Hajduk talked about possible options for controlling the local coyote population. Keefe said he was shocked at the attack, saying he had never heard of a coyote attacking a dog. However, he said that attacks on cats are common in Westborough, and Hajduk agreed. Keefe also said the time of the attack isn’t cause for concern. "Just because an animal is nocturnal, doesn't mean it exclusively comes out at night," said Keefe. "If the hunger is there, the animal will find food." Hajduk outlined the nature of coyotes, including why it is typically a very difficult animal to remove from urban and suburban settings. Hajduk presented various options for removing the animals, including trapping, relocating and euthanasia. But she cautioned that any solution might not permanently remove the threat. "If you remove the coyotes, it simply opens up the territory for other coyotes," said Hajduk. "They will always be there." According to Hajduk, attacks on pets are common. However, she stressed that there have only been three cases of coyotes attacking a human in Massachusetts. Hajduk said that the best defenses against coyotes are education and harassment. She encouraged residents who see coyotes to throw things at them or bang pots and pans together. The animals are not confrontational and do not like to work for food, said Hajduk. "Harassment teaches the coyote that a backyard is not a safe place to get food," she explained. "The fact is that coyotes are extremely opportunistic animals and they will take the food that's available to them."
Raccoon, which scratched person in the area of
Heritage State Park and Holyoke Children's Museum, tests positive for rabies
Dog killed in Hampden coyote
Coyotes Kill Woman on Hike
in Canadian Park
Rabid skunk in Derry bites dog
Beaver fever found in spring
Lawrence, 2 pesky
beavers wage war - Dam near roadway at heart of battle
Gloucester, MA - Gregg Smith of Citizens for Public safety thinks a partially destroyed beaver dam may be the reason for the Gloucester's contaminated drinking water. After two weeks, there's no end in sight to the Gloucester water ban. Residents are still under an order to boil their drinking water because of the presence of coliform bacteria. One resident has a theory on what's causing the problem -- just a simple theory, but a pretty good one. We went first to Babson Reservoir, main source for the city's' drinking water. Then, another walk, to the possible source of the problem: a broken beaver dam. Someone partially destroyed the dam sometime over the summer. As a result, mucky water rushed downstream and eventually made it into the reservoir. "Thirty to 50 acres, three feet deep," Smith said. "Since the city hasn't come up with their own ideas, I'm just putting this one out." City officials say they are looking into it. "That information has been passed along to the scientists and the chemists who are investigating this," Deputy Fire Chief Miles Schlichte said. "Along with a couple of other possibilities that citizens have phoned in." As far as the crisis goes, the latest water test results are better, but not good enough to lift the boil order. "It has been very frustrating," Mayor Carolyn Kirk said. "It's been frustrating for the citizens of Gloucester and very disruptive to the business community." Meanwhile, Gregg Smith is hoping his beaver-dam theory gets checked out. "It's just all the particles coming down at once, clogging the filtration system," he explained. "It's all pretty nasty." Today the federal government got involved, sending people from the Environmental Protection Agency. They have toured several sites. The mayor tells us they feel they have a working theory, but no answers yet.
Also see these stories from the Gloucester Times:
By Curt Brown
August 26, 2009
WEST NEWBURY, MA - Residents living near the old town dump off Georgetown Road fear flooding caused by beaver dams is dangerously close to contaminating their water supply. But despite urging from the local health agent since June that the dams be breached immediately, state officials say they have yet to conclusively determine the severity of the problem. Because the land is owned by the state's Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, the town needs permission to go onto it to remove the dams. The old landfill, which was clay-capped in 1986, has been plagued by flooding - likely due to beaver activity - since early last spring. Concerned that contaminants from the site might leach into their well water, residents alerted Health Agent Paul Sevigny, the Board of Selectmen and Mass Fisheries & Wildlife about the problem last April. "As a lifelong resident who used to make weekly trips to the landfill before it was closed, I can confirm that there is all kinds of dangerous gunk buried there cars, chemicals and other hazardous waste," Kevin Mullen, 118 Georgetown Road, said when reached for comment on Monday. Sevigny conducted four site visits in June, concluding that three major beaver dams located to the south of the landfill were causing excessive flooding in the vegetated wetlands nearby. The dams need to be removed to allow the natural flow of water to resume and recede away from the landfill. "Based on the numerous site visits and data gathered, it is the Board of Health's opinion that the rising water level adjacent to the landfill is creating a public health threat," he wrote in a letter to Patricia Huckery, district manager for the Mass. Division of Fisheries & Wildlife dated June 29. Sevigny, who also contacted the state Department of Health about the problem, also noted that elevated levels of standing water poised an increased risk for mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus and Eastern equine encephalitis. When contacted yesterday for a comment for this story, Huckery said all questions should be directed to Sevigny or to the division's press department. "As far as we are concerned, this is an emergency that requires immediate action, and we are dumbfounded as to why it isn't being treated as such. I mean, if someone from the Board of Health told you that your drinking water may become poisoned, wouldn't you expect it to be taken care of right away?" Mullen asked. In July, the Mass Department of Environmental Protection sent out solid waste engineer Dave Adams to determine if flooding in the area caused by the dams was a threat to neighboring household wells. Adams was involved with the closure of the landfill in 1986. In an e-mail to Sevigny dated Aug. 6, John Carrigan, the Solid Waste section chief at DEP, noted that Adams did not observe anything during his site visit that immediately suggested the higher water level threatens the integrity of the landfill cap. In addition, he noted that no data has been provided relative to the private wells or the groundwater conditions at the site regarding the potential for the groundwater flow from the landfill to be intercepted by the wells. A review of the aerial photographs suggests that the wells may be cross gradient and not down gradient of the landfill, Carrigan concluded. Sevigny then requested a second site review with the engineer to highlight his concerns. "Paul donned his waders to demonstrate that the protective landfill barrier is under 2-plus feet of water, and the test wells are similarly inundated. After about an hour of discussion in the swamp, Dave reluctantly, sort of, agreed that there is a potential health threat," said Mullen, who also attended the site walk. However, when reached for comment yesterday, DEP's Ed Coletta said only that Adams is "currently reviewing the information and data that he has collected and has not reached any final conclusions to date." But residents of Georgetown Road want less talk and more action. "We've already lost several months because of all the bureaucracy. Meanwhile the water level continues to rise and so does our level of concern," Mullen said. "The solution is simple: Once the beaver dams are breached, the natural flow of water will resume, and the health threat will go away."
By Yadira Betances August 26, 2009
By DON CUDDY
DARTMOUTH, MA - One thing is known about coyotes: There are definitely plenty of them in Massachusetts. One thing is not known: just how many of them there actually are. A coyote attack on a family dog in Dartmouth earlier this month refocused attention on these elusive predators who have adapted well to both urban and suburban environments. A 9-year-old black Labrador was bitten in North Dartmouth by a coyote, said Cheryl Jackson, Dartmouth's assistant animal control officer. "It's uncertain whether the dog approached the coyote or the coyote attacked the dog first, since no one was in the yard at the time," she said. And fortunately, at 130 pounds, the Lab, which has recovered, had some layers of fat to protect it. Nevertheless, the danger posed to family pets by coyotes is very real, particularly for smaller dogs and cats, Jackson said. Laura Hajduk, a furbearer biologist with Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, said that attacks on larger dogs generally result from coyotes attempting to protect their territory. "They would view a big dog as a territorial invader, and coyotes will actively defend their territory." While coyotes are well-established in Massachusetts, populations are difficult to estimate, Hajduk said. "But they tend to be self-regulating. If food is scarce one year, they won't have as many pups." There are more sightings during the summer, since both coyotes and humans are more active, she said. "Coyotes have their pups in the spring, so at this time of the year they are trying to feed an entire family as well as showing the pups how to hunt." Once they establish a territory, coyotes will patrol it, constantly looking for food and intruders and travelling up to 7 miles a day, according to Hajduk. A territory in this region could encompass 6 to 10 square miles, she said. "We have them in the city," New Bedford's animal control officer Manny Maciel said. "They come from Dartmouth and all over. They will travel a good distance at night. A lot of the calls we get are from the Route 140 and Hathaway Road area because they hang around the transfer station." However, they are usually not too common in more populated areas, he said. "We tell people to keep their trash covered. If they can't get food they will move on. In fact, we have a saying: 'A fat coyote is a dead coyote,'" Maciel said, relating the story of a coyote that took up residence in Brooklawn Park in the city's North End about 10 years ago. "People were feeding it. They meant well, but if you feed a wild animal it loses its fear of humans and the next thing that happens is it begins to approach people," he said. "Six months later, it was coming out at (a nearby) school and we had to get a guy from Fish and Wildlife to remove it."
By Bethany Bray
By Jack Nicas, Globe Correspondent |
August 11, 2009
Heather McCarron/Staff writer July 30, 2009
NORFOLK, MA - A 70-year resident of Priscilla Avenue was attacked by a rabid skunk Sunday afternoon after he attempted to shoo the animal off his property, according to Animal Control Officer Hilary Cohen. The skunk went after the man, who had swatted at it with his crutches, around 2 p.m. Sunday, even pursuing him into his home, nestled in a wooded area near the former Norfolk Airport. The skunk bit the mans shoes, pant legs and crutches; it is unclear whether the skunk drew blood, since the man declined treatment, Cohen said. "Basically, he saw the skunk in his yard and went outside to shoo it away and it attacked him," said Cohen, who is not identifying the man. "He's somewhat disabled, so by the time he could get away from it the skunk chased him inside. He somehow managed to get the skunk back outside. He said he basically cornered it with his crutches and kept shooing it back out." Cohen arrived following a 911-call, and had two encounters with the creature before shooting it dead. First, as the skunk came at her, she grabbed a snow shovel that was on the lawn, scooped the advancing skunk up and flung it away. At that point, the animal scurried off into the undergrowth, but then came back as Cohen was looking for it. She ended up shooting it three times. Cohen said she hasn't often seen a manifestation of furious rabies, but this skunk clearly had been driven mad by the illness. "This animal had the classic foaming of the mouth, he was very aggressive and he was intent to chase people and hurt them," she said. The remains were sent to the state Department of Public Health in Jamaica Plain for confirmation of Cohen's visual diagnosis. The results came back July 27 positive for the rabies virus, she said. A second skunk was shot at the same property on Tuesday and sent in for testing; those results were not expected back until after the Gazettes press deadline. Cohen said authorities are also working on removing numerous feral cats from the area that were interacting with the first skunk and have clearly been exposed to the virus; they will be euthanized. As of Wednesday afternoon, nine cats had been removed; one cat carcass found in the yard Sunday was also removed, but the remains were in such poor condition that testing for rabies infection could not be undertaken, Cohen said. Cohen said animals suspected of rabies are not unheard of in the town, but Sundays attack on a person is the first she has encountered in Norfolk. She said there are a lot of skunks this year that have been showing strange behavior and, in fact, another skunk on the other side of town was also put down Sunday because it was suspected of having rabies. There was no human exposure in that case. Sunday was also the day another resident was bitten by a bat; she swatted the bat away, so there was no specimen to send in for rabies testing. As a precaution, the woman is undergoing treatment for rabies, Cohen said. The Priscilla Avenue resident may also have to undergo treatment for rabies exposure which, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, includes administration of rabies immune globulin and a series of five rabies vaccine shots over the course of a months (rabies shots are no longer given in the stomach). Cohen said the mans physician and the state Department of Public Health would determine the course of action in his case. The skunk attack is the second one by a rabid animal in the area in the past week and a half. Last Wednesday, a rabid cat attacked a man in Bellingham. In the aftermath of the attack, Cohen is advising residents especially those in the Leland Road and Priscilla Avenue area of town to avoid contact with any stray cats, dogs or wildlife. The worry is that other animals on the mans property or in the neighborhood could have been exposed to the virus. "If you live in this area and have pets, please check them over for any possible bite marks if you have allowed your animal to roam without supervision in the past week," she noted in an advisory on the town Web site. "I cannot stress enough how absolutely imperative it is for your pet to be current on their rabies vaccinations as the rabies virus is fatal if contracted." According to the state DPH, rabies is a fatal disease of the brain and spinal cord caused by a virus. "Rabies in humans is very rare in the U.S., but rabies in certain animals especially wildlife is common in many parts of the country, including Massachusetts," the DPH fact sheet on rabies states. The rabies virus lives in the saliva and nervous tissues of infected animals and is spread when they bite or scratch. The virus can also be spread if saliva from an infected animal touches broken skin, open wounds or the lining of the mouth, nose, or eyes. It may also be possible to inhale the virus in caves crowded with infected bats. Rabies can infect any mammal, but is most common in bats, skunks, foxes, woodchucks, and raccoons. Cats, dogs and livestock can contract rabies as well, and transfer it to their owners. A rabid animal often behaves strangely after the virus begins to take effect on their brains. According to the DPH, "Rabid animals may attack people or other animals for no reason, or they may lose their fear of people and seem to be unnaturally friendly." "Not all rabid animals act in these ways, however, so you should avoid all wild animals especially bats, skunks, foxes, and raccoons," the DPH advises. "Also, you should not feed or touch stray cats and dogs." How can you prevent rabies? Avoid wild animals, especially bats, skunks, foxes, and raccoons. Do not feed or pet strays. Avoid any animal wild, farm or pet that you do not know. Report any animal that behaves oddly to your local animal control official. Teach your children to avoid wildlife, strays, and all other animals they do not know well. Do not handle dead, sick, or injured wild animals yourself; call the police or animal control officer. If you must handle the animal, use heavy gloves, sticks or other tools to avoid direct contact. Make sure your pets are vaccinated against rabies and that their shots are up-to-date. By law, all dogs, cats and ferrets must be vaccinated against rabies. Feed pets indoors and keep them indoors at night If they are outside during the day, keep them on a leash or fenced in so they cannot wander. It is possible for vaccinated pets to get rabies. Pets allowed to roam freely are more likely to get rabies and possibly expose people and other pets in your home. Fasten trash can lids tightly. Garbage attracts animals (like skunks, raccoons, and strays) looking for an easy meal. It is against state law to keep wild animals such as skunks or raccoons as pets. There are no rabies vaccines for most wild species. Cap your chimney with screens and block openings in attics, cellars, and porches to keep wild animals like bats and raccoons out of your home. If you have bats in your house, talk to a professional about bat-proofing your home. Animal control officers, veterinarians, their assistants, and others who have a lot of contact with strays or wildlife should get routine rabies vaccinations to protect themselves before they are exposed to the virus.
By Rebecca Hyman
Tue Jul 29, 2008, 05:31 PM EDT
By TIM FAULKNER, Staff Writer
GateHouse News Service
Posted Jul 27, 2009 @ 11:39 PM
RAYNHAM, MA - Another instance of wildlife migration into a residential neighborhood occurred last week when a coyote attacked a cat belonging to a Cynthia Drive family. At about 11 p.m. Thursday, Lynda and Rick Rose were searching outside their home for their 12-year-old house cat, Wren, when they heard the cat wailing as it was snatched up by a coyote. Rick Rose yelled at the animal as he ran from the back deck with a golf club, causing the frightened animal to drop the white, 20-pound cat and run into an open area along a power line behind the house. Wren was treated for severe bruises and several puncture wounds at an animal hospital in Bridgewater. Back home and feeding through an intravenous tube, the cats survival is very uncertain, Lynda Rose said. Since the attack, her 12-year-old daughter locks the doors at night and has been afraid to leave the house. It's stressful, Rose said. She has sighted the gray coyote several times this year, once at about 10 a.m. on nearby Pleasant Street. And she worried that other pets in the neighborhood are at risk. If it keeps getting animals its going to keep coming, Rose said. Marion Larson, a biologist with the state Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, said the incident will become more common if coyotes find new sources of food such as garbage, small pets and even bird feed. They're going to take any meal wherever they possibly can, Larson said. Noting that there have only been three reported attacks since coyotes were first found roaming in Massachusetts, Larson stressed that coyotes are not known to harm humans. Despite several reported coyote sighting in Raynham this year and the mauling death of a small dog on Locust Street in February, Larson said the coyote population has not dramatically increased in recent years. Rather, she said, coyotes thrive in suburban landscapes that present new sources of food. Unless humans yell and attempt to scare off coyotes, she said, encounters with the animals will be more common. Raynham Animal Control Officer Fred Sylvia said, so far, coyotes appear to be moving around town at will. They are just looking for food and they just have no fear of people right now. email@example.com
Globe Staff ,
,July 23, 2009 02:53 PM
By Jazmine Ulloa,
By Katie Curley - Staff writer
Georgetown MA -
Coyotes attacked and killed a dog that was walking with her owner in the Georgetown/Rowley State Forest last Wednesday morning. Georgetown resident Lisa Burke thinks the coyotes were stalking her and her four dogs during their entire walk. My dogs were staying unusually close to me all morning, says Burke. I did not even see the coyotes coming they came out on the trail right in front of me and were approaching me aggressively when my dogs saw them. By then it was too late. Like many Georgetown dog owners, Burke liked to walk her four dogs in the forest where they could run along unleashed. On July 15, she approached the parking lot after her walk and, with all the dogs right with her, prepared to put their leashes back on before crossing the parking lot entrance. Two coyotes suddenly charged her at trail marker number 15. The two coyotes attacked Burkes little Boston terrier Stella, and that's when Jack Russell terrier Lucy came to the rescue. Lucy died a hero she saved Stella by jumping into the fight and attacking the coyotes when they went for Stella, says Burke, who also sent a mass e-mail to other local dog owners as a warning about the attack. One was holding Stella by the throat and the other had her back legs. When Lucy entered the fight the coyotes dropped Stella and picked up Lucy. Maggie [the new family boxer] protected me, another hero in my eyes. Maggie, a boxer we have only had for one month, chased the coyotes when they picked up Lucy. I picked up Lucy off the path and ran carrying her as fast as I could because I knew she was in shock. The coyotes chased me to try to get at Lucy, but Maggie kept barking and they stayed back. I got Lucy to the vet and she was alive but she went into cardiac arrest and they couldn't save her. I feel so bad and sad I will miss her so much. She was such a terror, but that's what I loved about her. Her motto, I think, was It's all in the attitude. Stella was very badly injured but, thanks to Lucy's heroic actions, is expected to survive and be OK after a few weeks. She has a lot of puncture wounds from the coyotes teeth, and bruises on her chest from when they were carrying her away and shaking her, says Burke. Stella had her current rabies shots and she was given a booster shot. She is in quarantine at home here at home for the next 42 days. Georgetown Animal Inspector Holly Willard stopped by to check Stella out as well. Burke says she cant thank the Bulger Animal Hospital in North Andover enough for the care they gave Lucy and Stella. They did everything they could for Lucy you could'nt have asked for more, says Burke. Stella is still not herself. The vets said she might be mourning for Lucy for a while she keeps looking for her. Burke is warning dog owners to be aware of this new danger to their pets in the forest. The Georgetown Police Report on the incident notes the attack took place in an area behind the Penn Brook School section of the forest while all the dogs were close by their owner. Burke and her other two dogs were not injured in the attack. Georgetown Police Lt. Don Cudmore says people need to be aware of what's out there. Any person walking in the forest should be mindful that coyotes and other wild animals are always present, and should avoid them whenever possible, says Cudmore. He encourages residents to learn more about coyotes and other wildlife by visiting the Mass. Wildlife Web site at
Newsroom - SANDRA E. CONSTANTINE
Police warn of
coyotes after small dog is killed
Busy beavers adding to
soppiness of the season
By Linda Bock
Published: July 2, 2009
Published: July 2, 2009
Mr. Blomgren was outside
trimming his lawn at his home at
Mr. Blomgren said
he tried to contact a
June, 16, 2009
Beaver traps were
outlawed in 1996, and now the state's beaver population has skyrocketed from
20,000 to 70,000.
CONCORD, Mass. The dozens of public works officials, municipal engineers, conservation agents and others who crowded into a meeting room here one recent morning needed help. Property in their towns was flooding, they said. Culverts were clogged. Septic tanks were being overwhelmed. Once wiped out in Massachusetts, beavers were repopulated in the 1930s. "We have a huge problem", said David Pavlik, an engineer for the town of Lexington, where dams built by beavers have sent water flooding into the towns sanitary sewers. We trapped them, he said. We breached their dam. Nothing works. We are looking for long-term solutions. Mary Hansen, a conservation agent from Maynard, said it starkly: There are beavers everywhere. Laura Hajduk, a biologist with the states Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, had little to offer them. When beavers are trapped, others move in to replace them. And, she said, you can breach a beaver dam, but I guarantee you that within 24 hours if the beavers are still there it will be repaired. Beavers are the ultimate ecosystem engineers. That was not what Mr. Pavlik was hoping to hear. He is not alone in his dismay, and it is not just beavers. Around the nation, decades of environmental regulation, conservation efforts and changing land use have brought many species, like beavers, so far back from the brink that they are viewed as nuisances. As Stuart Pimm, a conservation ecologist at Duke University, put it, We are finding they are inconvenient. In Florida, alligators were once nearly wiped out by hunters; today the state maintains a roster of trappers who remove thousands of nuisance gators each year. The pesticide DDT once left the Pelican State, Louisiana, bereft of the birds; today wildlife organizations say fishermen must guard their bait and catches from the birds. In California, warnings about marauding mountain lions are posted on hiking trails. There were tens and maybe hundreds of millions of beavers in North America before it was settled by Europeans, whose craze for beaver hats is often cited as motivating much of the exploration of the continent. But by 1900 their numbers had been reduced to about 100,000, almost all of them in Canada. As farming faded and the forests reclaimed much of their lost ground, Castor canadensis made a spectacular comeback. Today there are believed to be 10 million to 15 million of the animals in North America, and they are regarded as pests in much of their range. In 1999, for example, a colony moved into the Tidal Basin in Washington, where they cut down a number of cherry trees before being trapped and removed. According to the Department of Agriculture, states like Mississippi, North Carolina and Wisconsin lose tens of millions of dollars each year from beaver damage to buildings, roads, timber, crops and trout streams. In Massachusetts, beavers had vanished by the early 19th century, killed by trappers and dispossessed by farmers who turned woods into pastures. But they have had a particularly strong comeback here as farmland has returned to woodland. The change has also brought an unwelcome abundance of coyotes, black bears, moose and other species. Wild turkeys, once extirpated, now go one-on-one with suburban pedestrians in what biologists call misguided efforts to establish their dominance in a pecking order. The advice from the experts on beavers is to find a way to live with them and reduce the damage. As Ms. Hajduk said during the Concord meeting, chicken-wire fencing can keep beavers out of culverts or away from prized trees. Companies market water flow devices called beaver deceivers or beaver bafflers that can be installed in dams to lower the water level of beaver ponds. Some people even coat prized trees with paint and sand in the hope that the grit will discourage gnawing beavers. If people want to live in a more natural environment, they must adjust to animals, even inconvenient animals, Dr. Pimm said in a telephone interview. You have to accept Mother Nature as she is, he said. John Livsey, Mr. Pavliks boss and the town engineer in Lexington, has firsthand experience with the beaver problem. The animals are building dams in wooded areas traversed by the towns sewer lines, he said, and as water rises, it seeps through manholes into the sewer pipes. The town must pay for the treatment of this extra inflow. Though Mr. Livsey said he could not put a dollar figure on it, its a lot of money. The town periodically obtains permits to breach dams and trap and kill the animals, but destroying a beaver dam can have unintended consequences downstream, from flooding a neighbors property to destroying habitat crucial for rare amphibians or silting up streams where endangered Atlantic salmon spawn. Some people date the beavers return to Massachusetts to 1928, when beavers were observed in West Stockbridge and greeted with enthusiasm, according to the Web site of the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. By 1946, there were an estimated 300 beavers, all west of the Connecticut River. If a beaver dam is breached, it will be repaired within 24 hours. Today, Ms. Hajduk said, there are at least 30,000 beavers [ERROR should be 70,000], all over the state. In her presentation in Concord, Ms. Hajduk said that beavers, which can reach 60 pounds and are the largest rodents in North America, are monogamous animals that mate for life and like to eat plants that grow underwater. They look for places to build a dam and create a pond. Their webbed feet are adapted for life in the water, and their front teeth, four giant incisors, are useful for cutting the trees they use as raw materials for their dams and lodges. (They also eat the bark, particularly in the winter.) Typically, she said, they work at night, building a stick-and-mud lodge in the pond or at its edge, with its entrance underwater for safety. A pair of beavers typically live 10 years, producing a litter of two or more kits each spring. The kits stay with their parents until they are 2 years old, then disperse in search of their own territories. Though the people at the meeting found it hard to believe or irrelevant the beavers have produced many benefits for the states environment, Ms. Hajduk said. She pointed to some of them after the meeting, when she and Mary B. Griffin, the states commissioner of fish and game, met at the Boxborough Station Wildlife Management Area, a state reserve northwest of here. At first glance it hardly seemed like an ideal spot for beavers. Route 2, a major east-west highway, runs along one edge; a much-used rail line runs along another. You are really surrounded by a lot of suburbia and roadways, Ms. Hajduk said. But trees had reclaimed the land between the ancient stone walls. Beavers have taken full advantage of the site, damming a small stream with mud and branches to impound a 45-acre pond perhaps five or six feet deep, with a lodge in the middle. As she and Dr. Griffin neared the pond, a group of wood ducks, alarmed by their approach, went squawking into the air. It was good to see them, Dr. Griffin said they are among the species favored by hunters that the state is trying to encourage. She pointed to an osprey sitting on a dead tree. Ospreys were almost wiped out by DDT but are now back in Massachusetts, and this one was taking advantage of beaver-created habitat. Just then, a great blue heron glided to a landing in the pond, another guest of the beavers. Impoundments like this one absorb water, especially in the spring, when streams swell with rain and snow runoff, Dr. Griffin said. And when the impoundment eventually silts up and the beavers move on, their dam will decay and the pond will drain, leaving unusually rich soil behind. These beaver meadows stand out like rich little oases, Ms. Hajduk said. Dr. Griffin said she and her colleagues emphasized these advantages in urging people to adopt tolerance and coexistence as a first line of defense. Mr. Livsey can embrace this concept, up to a point, perhaps because he admires the animals engineering ability. They're amazingly skilled creatures, actually, he said. They seem to be able to put things where they want them. I wish they worked for us.
Rise in beaver population after trapping ban leads to flooded property
(back to top)
By Danielle Ameden/Daily News staff
MILFORD, MA - Trying to tackle the beaver problem on Ivy Brook, the Conservation
Commission took a firsthand look yesterday at the problems dam breaks are
causing in north Milford. On a visit to 10 Clarridge Circle, commissioners
met with homeowner Bob Szymanski who worries his property will keep getting
flooded if, as he suspects, people continue breaking beaver dams upstream from
him. "I have lost somewhere over three feet of rock that has slid down,"
Szymanski said of the retaining walls on his property that Ivy Brook flows
through. Szymanski brought the problem to the commission's attention last month
after he suspected someone broke a big dam the beavers had built. He said the
destruction caused a huge rush of water "like Niagara Falls." The morning
after the board's meeting, which he attended, someone apparently tampered with
the dam the beavers had rebuilt because another, albeit smaller, rush of water
occurred, Szymanski told the commissioners.
"Somebody did something up there," he said. Commission Chairman Robert Buckley
told Szymanski the commission will investigate the problem, but it may be
difficult to resolve. "Beavers are tough - there are cases where, really,
they win," Buckley said, standing on a little bridge over the brook on
Szymanski's property. Commissioners need to get in touch with the owner of
the landlocked piece of property where the beavers have built their dams and
habitat on Ivy Brook. When they have permission, they will tour that area,
Buckley told Szymanski. He said the commission will also speak to its
consultant and involve the Board of Health, which has some jurisdiction when it
comes to beavers. Commissioners could issue a "cease and desist" order
against the property owner, even though he's seemingly unaware of the beaver
problem, Buckley said. "The Conservation Commission has to take some
action and usually it's the land owner. They have have to post no trespass
signs, do something," he said. Also along on the site visit were Town
Engineer Mike Santora and Conservation Commission members Joe Zacchilli and
Michael Giampietro. Szymanski showed photos of when water had rushed
downstream. He recounted how there have been five apparent dam breaks since the
end of last year, including the "bad one" on April 25. "That's a very odd
situation to have basically a flash flood," Buckley said. Prior to last year and
since 1986, Szymanski said, there had only been three incidents. One was during
Hurricane Bob and two others were probably during rainstorms, he said.
Buckley said the commission will talk about the beaver problem when it meets
The Daily Hampshire Gazette - CHAD CAIN Staff Writer
Published: May 16, 2009
NORTHAMPTON, MA - The presence of a 100-foot beaver dam in the Barrett Street Marsh has renewed fears that backed-up stormwater may soon spill over onto neighboring streets, causing hazardous conditions for motorists and homeowners. Residents in the area have expressed fears that their homes are at risk from the flooding if the water level behind the dam continues to rise. The water is nearly level with Barrett Street, said Bruce Young, land use and conservation planner in the Office of Planning and Development. "The DPW is worried about Barrett Street itself, the culverts and basements," said Young. The dam is located on the Barrett Street side of the marsh, a 22-acre swath of city-owned land located west of King Street and south of Barrett Street. The Conservation Commission discussed the issue at its Thursday meeting and has scheduled a public hearing for June 11. Beavers have been an issue in the Barrett Street marsh for years. For a time, the Conservation Commission allowed the Department of Public Works to trap and kill the animals, a source of controversy that led the commission to try installing a device called a "beaver deceiver" to reduce the risk of flooding and avoid killing the beavers. To install the device, crews cut a hole in the middle of the dam and run a pipe through which water can flow. The pipe drains water to a certain level and funnels it 10 to 20 feet past the dam, said Young. The flow device is designed to control the damming behavior of beavers nonlethally. It allows water to flow through the dam and fool beavers who respond instinctively to the flowing sound of water. The goal is to move enough of the water to control the vertical growth of the dam. The commission has installed these devices on four occasions since December 2006. "It works for a short period of time, but the beavers go and build on the other side of the dam," said Young. The Conservation Commission now must weigh whether to continue using the "beaver deceivers," or to allow the DPW to once again trap the animals. Young said the DPW has yet to make such a request. "The commission's feeling was that we don't want to be in the business of putting in and maintaining deceivers," said Young. "If no outside group steps up to pay and manage it, the board may have to allow the DPW to trap." The city spent $2,500 to install the deceivers the first two times. City crews installed the system two more times, in addition to funding other maintenance, Young said. Chad Cain can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coyote Forces 2 Logan Runways To Briefly Close
(back to top)
By Alice C. Elwell
Posted May 04, 2009 @ 01:54 AM
Last update May 04, 2009 @ 01:50 PM
MIDDLEBORO, MA - A brown shadow
swooped in and grabbed Hattie, a seven pound Yorkshire Terrier, by the neck just
yards from where owner Wilfred J. Forcier stood watching. It
was 4 a.m. last Wednesday when Hattie pestered Forcier to go outside. Her timing
was unusual, but Forcier a retired police officer stood at the backdoor of
WEST BOYLSTON, MA - Rebuilding of the trail in Oakdale is under way
(8-28-09) Wachusett Greenways Welcomes Donations to Accelerate Repair.
As you may know, the Mass Central Rail Trail (MCRT) accessible from Thomas
Street in West Boylston westward to the I-190 bridge has been temporarily closed
since early May, when a 25-foot section of the trail washed away due to the
efforts of some industrious beavers. Wachusett Greenways, the Town of
West Boylston and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) have
jointly arrived at a plan to rebuild the damaged trail. This work will include
improvement of the trail from Thomas Street to the washout. This section of
trail has had problems with water collection since it was built in 1997.
We anticipate this work will be completed and the trail reopened in time for
Family Fun Day and the Springdale Mill Celebration, scheduled for Sept. 26.
Though this section of the trail will remain closed until repairs are complete,
all other sections of the trail are open, including the section west of I-190 to
River Street in Holden and on to Manning Street and Route 31. The trail sections
in Sterling and Rutland are also open. And thanks to the tireless efforts
of our volunteer trail crews, nearly all ice storm damage has been cleared from
the trail. Some work remains to chip brush and to remove other debris along the
trail shoulder. We welcome new volunteers to help return the rail trail to its
former beauty. Looking forward, work on a new section of the rail trail,
west of Muddy Pond in Oakham to the Route 122 crossing, is well under way.
We regret the length of time it has taken to repair the washout, but this is a
major undertaking, requiring careful planning to avoid similar problems in the
future. Wachusett Greenways welcomes donations to help defer the cost of
repairs. Contributions can be made directly to Wachusett Greenways online or by
mail, Box 121, Holden 01520. We must raise $12,000 in donor contributions in
addition to the funds which Wachusett Greenways and the Town of West Boylston
have set aside. Please send your generous gift today.
WEST BOYLSTON, MA - Rebuilding of the trail in Oakdale is under way (8-28-09) Wachusett Greenways Welcomes Donations to Accelerate Repair. As you may know, the Mass Central Rail Trail (MCRT) accessible from Thomas Street in West Boylston westward to the I-190 bridge has been temporarily closed since early May, when a 25-foot section of the trail washed away due to the efforts of some industrious beavers. Wachusett Greenways, the Town of West Boylston and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) have jointly arrived at a plan to rebuild the damaged trail. This work will include improvement of the trail from Thomas Street to the washout. This section of trail has had problems with water collection since it was built in 1997. We anticipate this work will be completed and the trail reopened in time for Family Fun Day and the Springdale Mill Celebration, scheduled for Sept. 26. Though this section of the trail will remain closed until repairs are complete, all other sections of the trail are open, including the section west of I-190 to River Street in Holden and on to Manning Street and Route 31. The trail sections in Sterling and Rutland are also open. And thanks to the tireless efforts of our volunteer trail crews, nearly all ice storm damage has been cleared from the trail. Some work remains to chip brush and to remove other debris along the trail shoulder. We welcome new volunteers to help return the rail trail to its former beauty. Looking forward, work on a new section of the rail trail, west of Muddy Pond in Oakham to the Route 122 crossing, is well under way. We regret the length of time it has taken to repair the washout, but this is a major undertaking, requiring careful planning to avoid similar problems in the future. Wachusett Greenways welcomes donations to help defer the cost of repairs. Contributions can be made directly to Wachusett Greenways online or by mail, Box 121, Holden 01520. We must raise $12,000 in donor contributions in addition to the funds which Wachusett Greenways and the Town of West Boylston have set aside. Please send your generous gift today.
neighborhood barely survived a coyote attack. (back to top)
Pet Cat Killed By Predator
The Boston Channel.com
Published: April 20, 2009
Weymouth, MA - The coyote snatched "Rusty" right off his leash while he was tied to a mailbox. The shih tzu's owner said she saw the coyote running down the street with the dog in its mouth. "I opened the front door and saw the dog was gone. I looked up and saw a coyote with my dog in its mouth. I started yelling, and two houses down, saw the dog with blood in middle of street. I must have scared him away, "said Elyse Quinlan. Rusty survived and was treated for deep teeth wounds to the stomach, back and neck. The coyote's first victim on the block wasn't so lucky. Residents think a pet cat was killed by the animal. "The neighbors cat, too. They were telling me they found his fur in the other yard," Quinlan said. Weymouth police said unless a coyote is reported as sick, there's nothing they can do. The public was advised to stay alert and be careful.
www.WickedLocal.com By Tim Faulkner,
Published: Feb 27, 2009, 10:42 AM EST
MA - After a gang of coyotes attacked and killed a family dog,
Terry Den Besten, owner of Den Besten Farm
Street, is taking action.
"They've started a war and I'll
finish it," he said. Over
the past two years, coyotes have been terrorizing his 30-acre animal
farm, eating cats, young goats, chickens and frightening other animals.
In recent months, the coyotes have become more
jumping four-foot fences into animal pens and entering barns in search of prey.
"They are very bold,"
said the burly former
construction company owner. Wednesday night, about a dozen coyotes ran through
the stable area and the backyard of his
three-story brick house, howling and looking for a meal. Several
family dogs were roaming the backyard when a coyote snatched away
a 9-year-old miniature Doberman pinscher. Den Besten's
wife, Donna, gave chase, yelling in an attempt to scare off the coyotes.
a few minutes later the 20-pound dog was found lifeless about 100 yards from the
house lying on a dirt road. "It's
kind of scary
with a pack of them," Terry Den Besten said.
"It was like an attack of the wild."
In recent years he has installed sturdier fences
and brought in a donkey, horses and llamas to frighten the coyotes.
When that failed his only recourse, until now,
has been to lock
the animals in barns and sheds at night. But with two young grandchildren living
in his home, Den Besten doesn't want the next
victim to be a human. Armed with night-vision goggles, a .22-caliber hunting
rifle and a battery-powered coyote caller, the retired
Marine intends to make the hunters the hunted. "They
are going to be dealt with, that's for sure,"
he said. After notifying neighbors
- many of them living in recently built houses on land
that was once coyote habitat - and the police
officials, Den Besten intends to
stalk the predators over the next few nights. Biologist Dick Turner, of the
state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, said shooting
one of the coyotes may be enough to scare the rest of the pack from going near
humans again. Coyote encounters, he said, are more
frequent this time of year. "This is the breeding
season and when they're the most vocal." And the
sightings are likely to increase.
Over the last 50 years, the coyote population has spread to every community
across the Commonwealth. Raynham Police Chief
Pacheco said coyotes weren't in Raynham 20 years ago.
And the attack Wednesday night, he said, was the first time a coyote had entereda building the shed where the goats were kept. Pacheco condoned Den Besten's
plan to kill the coyotes, saying farmers have the
right to kill predators that attack livestock. As a precaution, Pacheco warned
school officials about the aggressive coyotes. At least
two coyotes sighting have been reported at the three Raynham public schools
since September. Although Den Besten's
farm and the schools sit on opposite sides of the heavily traveled Route 24,
Pacheco noted that both properties are part of a wooded area that extends north
to Interstate 495. "I concerned for family pets as
well as kids, especially when the weather gets warmer,"
Pacheco said. Fisheries and Wildlife Biologist Laura Hajduk said coyotes are
more of a nuisance than a threat to humans. Only
three reports of coyote bites on
humans have been reported in the state, she said, and a single fatality occurred
in California in the 1980s. "Its very very rare
ever attack people." Her
advice is to avoid coyotes and never feed them. But if the dog-like animals get
too close she suggest banging
pots and pans and making loud noises to remind them of the consequences of
intruding on humans.
Glouster Daily Times online (http://www.gloucestertimes.com)
By Robert Cann, Staff Writer
February 17, 2009
Essex, MA -
Because of this, she's always kept a close eye on her 10-year-old
greyhound, Charro, when the dog is allowed to roam alone in her
grassy backyard, enclosed by honeysuckle bushes. "Otherwise," said Morser,
86, "I don't think we'd have her today." This
past Saturday around 3 p.m., while Charro was sniffing the grass about 50 yards
behind Morser's home, she saw what she thought were two police dogs moving
toward the dog. She said, since Charro likes other dogs, the greyhound went
toward the animals. When the pair attacked
Charro, Morser instantly recognized that they were coyotes and hollered for her
89-year-old husband Calvin. Morser said she then
"grabbed a pot with a lid and tore out into the backward," clanging the top
against the pot. She had read that doing such a thing would scare away coyotes.
She said that, by the time she got outside, Charro and the coyotes
had moved into one of the bushes and that she could no longer see them.
She's not sure if it was her banging the pot and
lid together that scared the coyotes away, but moments after she left her house
Charro began to limp towards her. When Morser and her husband got Charro inside
they discovered their pet had serious cuts and bite marks on its hind legs, back
and abdomen. They called the Gloucester-based Cape Ann Veterinary Hospital, and
the owners, Dr. Jeffrey French and his wife Dr. Barbara Reid, had not gone home
yet. The veterinarians told Morser to bring Charro in immediately. Morser and
her husband wrapped Charro's wounds with a towel and, with a great deal of
effort, lifted the 65-pound dog into the back of their vehicle. At the hospital,
Charro was in surgery for two hours and required between 15 and 20 sutures in
three different areas, French said yesterday. Yesterday, Charro was doing well,
but was being held in quarantine and being monitored for rabies, French said.
Charro was up-to-date on rabies vaccinations at the time of the attack, and was
treated once more when first admitted to the animal hospital. Massachusetts Fish
and Game representatives were unavailable for comment yesterday because of the
holiday. Lt. John Wimsatt, a conservation officer at New Hampshire Fish and
Game, said that rabies isn't as common in coyotes as in raccoons and foxes, but
it can still occur. French also noted that "people often think that large
dogs are not targets for coyotes," but that's not the case. Wimsatt said
that attacks by coyotes on domestic animals are uncommon, though it's not rare
for them to attack prey as large a 65-pound greyhound; they often hunt whitetail
deer. Wimsatt said that such an attack was unusual and that it likely wouldn't
happen again. "The public doesn't need to be overly alarmed," said Wimsatt.
"Take normal precautions with your pets and keep your eyes on them when they're
outside." Wimsatt added, however, that animal control officers should be
notified in case of an attack. French, who said that "people are getting used to
seeing them all the time," added that he planned to contact Gloucester's Animal
Control Department when it opened today. In that
vein, a Rockport man had one of his golden retrievers
tackled by a coyote in December after the wild animal chased his second
golden retriever from the edge of the woods where it was sniffing, unleashed.
The man and his wife yelled at the coyote and it ran away. That dog was not
brought to the vet, and French noted that there have not been any animals
Milford Daily News - January 29, 2009
Danielle Ameden can be reached at 508-634-7521 or email@example.com.
By Connie Paige
Globe Correspondent / January 25, 2009
LEXINGTON, MA - A brook flooded an area
Connie Paige can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2009 Globe Newspaper Company.
By David Rielly/TAB staff
MetroWest Daily News
www.wickedlocal.com MetroWest Daily News
Fri. Dec 26, 2008 10:45 EST
(David Riley can be reached at 508-626-3919 or email@example.com.)
November 27, 2008
By Paul Leighton Staff writer
BEVERLY, MA - A Beverly police officer said he gunned his cruiser between a woman and a rapidly charging coyote to prevent the animal from attacking her in St. Mary's Cemetery two weeks ago.
Patrolman Gene Bettencourt said he grabbed the woman and got her safely into her van as the coyote ran off into the woods. "If I wasn't there, who knows what that thing would've done to that lady," he said.
Police say the city's animal services department trapped an 80-pound coyote in the cemetery last Friday and had the animal euthanized by a veterinarian. Patrolman John McCarthy, the department spokesman, said police can't be certain it was the same coyote, but there have been no reports of coyotes in the area since then. "If somebody does see one, call us at the station," McCarthy said. Bettencourt said he was on routine patrol in St. Mary's Cemetery on Nov. 15 when a man walking his dog told him he saw a "huge animal" on the hill at the back of the Brimbal Avenue cemetery. When Bettencourt drove up the hill, "I couldn't believe my eyes," he said. "It almost looked like a wolf," he said. As Bettencourt called the police station to report the coyote sighting, a woman got out of a green van and walked toward a gravestone. The coyote then took off and started running toward the woman, he said. "I said to the dispatcher, 'I gotta go. The coyote's charging a lady.' I drove my Charger to cut it off. I jumped out and grabbed the lady and got her back in her van. She took off, and the coyote bolted into the wooded area." Bettencourt said the coyote stopped about 40 to 50 feet away when he pulled his cruiser in front of the woman. After the incident, the city's animal services department planted a trap that is designed to pull a leash around an animal's neck as it is feeding. Last Friday, Bettencourt found a coyote caught in the trap in the cemetery, unhurt. McCarthy said the coyote was taken to a veterinarian and euthanized. Beverly Animal Services Officer James Lindley said coyotes are known to attack cats and small dogs but rarely pose a threat to humans. "The way it charged that woman is not ordinary," he said. Lindley said he doubted the coyote had rabies because a rabid animal would stand its ground and fight instead of fleeing. Lindley said he and police have fielded many calls regarding coyote sightings in recent weeks. He said there has been a group of seven coyotes in the Sohier Road area and two or three more around St. Mary's Cemetery, but it's difficult to know exactly how many are in the city. "It's really hard to put a count on them," he said. "They cover so much territory." According to the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife Web site, the eastern coyote moved into the central and western regions of Massachusetts in the 1950s and now lives in every town in Massachusetts, except on Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. Coyotes can reach weights of 50 to 60 pounds, but their weight can be easily overestimated because of their thick fur, according to the Web site. Dogs, red foxes and gray foxes are often mistaken for coyotes. The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife and the Massachusetts Environmental Police Department are assisting Lindley in monitoring the situation, he said. Anyone who spots a coyote should call police at 978-922-1212.
Increase in beaver population linked to loosestrife spread
(back to top)
By Justine Judge
|By Aaron Nicodemus TELEGRAM
& GAZETTE STAFF
Monday, March 31, 2008
WALPOLE, MA - The Walpole animal control officer has confirmed a case of rabies in that town, and he thinks it won't be the last one this year. John Spillane said a rabid raccoon on March 9 lunged at two Akitas tied up outside a Washington Street home, biting one of them on the lower leg before the dog killed it. The woman who owns the dogs phoned Spillane, who took the dead raccoon, decapitated it and delivered the head to the state laboratory. He learned last week that the raccoon tested positive for rabies. Because the dog was up to date with its vaccinations, it was given a booster shot and placed in quarantine at home, where it will remain for 45 days to make sure it doesn't come down with the disease. If the Akita hadn't been vaccinated, the owner's choice would have been a six-month quarantine or euthanasia. Spillane said the case in Walpole leads him to believe there's going to be a high incidence of rabies in wild animals this year, perhaps as many as 20 to 30 in town. "It's hard to say because if I get a call for a sick (wild) animal, I just put it down," he said. "We've had a quiet last two years, and rabies rises and falls in cycles." "It's not a normal thing for a raccoon to come out of the woods and go after big dogs," he said. With the arrival of spring, the possibility of running into a rabid animal increases, though rabies in domestic animals is rare and it is even rarer in humans. Rabies is fatal if left untreated. The chances of human infection are rising with the coming of spring. "Obviously, the spring and summer are more active (for rabies) because more people are outside," said Dr. John D'Esopo, a veterinarian at Dr. Wolf's Medical Center in Dedham and the town's animal inspector. So far this year, one animal - a squirrel - has been tested for rabies in Dedham, said Health Director Catherine Cardinale. The test came back negative. Last year, nine animals were tested for rabies and two raccoons came back positive, she said. In Norwood, two cats with "wounds of unknown origin" were quarantined last year but did not come down with the disease, said Michael Cahill, rabies program coordinator for the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources. And there were no rabies cases in Westwood last year, although three animals were submitted for testing, said Health Director Linda Shea. But residents shouldn't become lax about vaccinating pets just because there were no rabies cases in town last year. "Although you may not see a positive in several years, it's just a matter of time until we have another. The best thing to do to protect you and your family is to vaccinate," said Cahill. Vaccination and licensing clinics for cats and dogs will be held in Dedham from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 19 at the Animal Rescue League at 55 Anna's Place, and from 9 a.m. to noon on April 5 at the Carby Street Municipal Office Building at 50 Carby St. in Westwood. The cost of the vaccine, required for dogs and cats by state law, is $10 in Westwood, and $8 in Dedham. Microchip implants - for animal identification - will also be offered at the Dedham clinic for $15. For residents of Norwood and Walpole, towns that won't be offering clinics this year, vaccines are administered for $14 at the Norwood and Dedham Petco locations year-round. The stores are located on Providence Highway. LuvMyPet - an organization that provides vaccinations by licensed veterinarians in 23 states - offers the shots every other Sunday in Norwood from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and one Saturday a month between 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. at the Dedham location. This month's Dedham clinic is March 29. Ferrets can also be vaccinated at the Petco clinics. While the facts about rabies are well-publicized, Cahill estimates that only 70 to 80 percent of dogs and 30 to 40 percent of cats are vaccinated statewide. Because cats are a lot less likely to be vaccinated, the incidence of rabies among them is much higher, he said. Rabies lives in saliva and nerve tissue, according to a Massachusetts Department of Public Health fact sheet. It is spread when an infected animal bites or scratches another animal or human, or if the saliva comes into contact with broken skin, open wounds, eyes, noses and mouths. For adult animals, the vaccination is good for three years, said Cahill. Pets that come into contact with wildlife - whether they are bitten or merely exposed to another animal's saliva - must be tested for rabies. Any mammal can get rabies, he said. Although rare, rabies can show up in rodents, like squirrels and woodchucks. "I had the first woodchuck in the state that came down rabid," said Spillane. "They said rodents couldn't get it. ... It climbed a six-foot high chain-link fence to go after a hound dog," he said. "The dog killed it."
By Steve Landwehr - Staff writer
February 20, 2008 02:05 pm
Ipswich, MA - It's a little hard to tell if Wenham's culverts on the Miles River are performing up to expectations after being replaced last year. Due to heavy rains and melting snow the past two weeks, there's an unusually high amount of water in the river, but don't blame the culverts. "There's not a lot of flow out there because of all the beaver dams downstream," Tyack said. No Wenham residents have complained of flooding so far, he said. The news is not so good in Hamilton, however, where water levels threaten to submerge some septic systems. State Rep. Brad Hill is pointing his finger directly at officials in his own hometown, Ipswich. Wenham, Hamilton and Beverly, the other three communities through which the river runs, have all done trapping and dam breaching to alleviate beaver problems, and even the MBTA has helped out by clearing one of the culverts under its tracks. "The town of Ipswich hasn't done anything," Hill said. Flooding during the Mother's Day storm in 1986 destroyed three culverts in Wenham. The cost to replace them was $1.8 million. Homes in Beverly, Wenham and Hamilton were also flooded. Ipswich is part of the Miles River Task Force that formed to tackle perennial problems with the river. Besides the beaver population, the river is heavily infested with purple loosestrife, an invasive plant that is choking the river and inhibiting its ability to act as sponge during rain storms. Hill said he hopes to be on the Ipswich selectmen's agenda soon so coalition members can plead their case for more action. "It's puzzling to me why one town is unwilling to do anything when the other three have spent money, and a good deal of money, so the water can get through," Hill said. "It's useless if the water has no place to go. "Ipswich Conservation Commission Chairman David Standley has publicly expressed skepticism about beaver trapping. The commission would have to grant permission for any dams to be breached. Standley says he doesn't doubt trapping and breaching would be successful in the short run, but beavers are bound to return. The rodents are here because this has become good beaver habitat, he said. Hill said the river coalition is waiting for Sen. Ted Kennedy or Congressman John Tierney to place an "earmark" in the federal budget that would provide money for the Army Corps of Engineers to look into dredging the river, but there's no guarantee that will come to pass. In the meantime, Hill hopes he can just get some quick decisions on beaver dams. "I'm very disappointed in the actions of Ipswich," he said.
State orders breach to
avert dam failure
Published: Friday, February 08, 2008 The Republican Newsroom
By PATRICK JOHNSON firstname.lastname@example.org
SPRINGFIELD - The state issued an emergency order on
Friday to breach an Indian Orchard dam in order to prevent it from failing
and releasing 30 million gallons of water downstream toward a mobile home
park. Crews with heavy construction equipment began tearing a hole in
the large earthen dam at Bircham Bend Pond off Worcester Street on Friday
afternoon. The property is owned by Solutia and the Postal Service, said
Robert J. Hassett, the city's director of emergency preparedness. A
beaver dam blocked a culvert downstream, causing rainwater to flood a ravine
between the culvert and the earthen dam. Officials said they feared the
culvert could open suddenly, causing the pooled water to drain quickly.
This could weaken the earthen dam and cause it to fail, releasing about 30 million gallons of water downstream toward the Bircham Bend Mobile Home Park off Grochmal Avenue. Large pumps were being hauled in from Chicopee to assist with the draining, said Hassett. Before the pumps were brought in, the plugged 30-inch culvert was draining at a rate of about 2 inches an hour, he said. The state Division of Conservation and Recreation's Division of Dam Safety issued an emergency order on Friday for the dam to be breached, Hassett said. Fire Department spokesman Dennis G. Leger said that emergency plans were put into place to evacuate residents of the trailer park on Thursday if necessary. Emergency officials went from door to door to notify about 200 residents of the potential danger. The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority was ready to dispatch four buses to transport people, and the nearby John F. Kennedy Middle School was ready to be converted into an emergency shelter, said Leger. The warning was a precaution, and not because the dam was in immediate danger of giving way, he said. "We were just leaning forward in the saddle because we wanted to be prepared for any eventuality," he said. By breaching the dam on Friday, officials sought to balance the level of water in the pond and in the flooded ravine, and then allow it to drain. The emergency unearthed a dispute between Solutia and the city's Conservation Commission. The state Division of Dam Safety inspected the dam last July, and noted several concerns. It recommended that the dam be breached, said Jay Nesbitt, Solutia plant manager. The company had a contractor prepared to breach the dam, he said, "but when we told the city, they said no." Christopher Collins, chairman of the Conservation Commission, said his panel balked at permitting the work because Solutia tried to tear down the dam without city approval. He said the state gave Solutia the option of repairing the dam, but the commission was not notified of the project until November. The commission has to approve all projects that involve work in and around a wetland. Solutia officials did not appear before the commission until January, and when they did, they had no specific plans about the project, Collins said. Also, by that time, the special permit issued by the state had expired, he said. "For Solutia to say the Conservation Commission is responsible for blocking it is not accurate," he said. He said that Solutia did not receive permission from the Postal Service for the dam project until Friday morning.
By Michael Morton/Daily News staff
Mon Jan 21, 2008, 12:05 AM EST
FRANKLIN, MA - A dam at the DelCarte
conservation area is at risk of collapsing, according to a report released last
week, a development that could threaten downstream homes. Town engineering
consultants did not give a time frame for the possible failure during a
presentation at the Conservation Commission Thursday, but they did categorize
the dam as a "significant" hazard, not a "high" one. "We felt there would
definitely be significant impact to the surrounding area," said engineer Matthew
Bellisle, the president of Pare Corp. While only one of the seven earthen
dams - No. 3, in the middle of the 130-acre property - poses a threat, the
others could collapse, too, Bellisle said. Over the years, trees have
sprouted on the structures, tearing the dams apart with their roots, he said,
and water flow has changed paths because of beaver activity and is now eroding
the man-made structures. "The beavers are causing a tremendous amount of
damage to the area," said Bellisle. The current dam configuration holds back the
Mill River and was made by longtime landowner Ernest DelCarte, who took an old
cranberry growing operation and turned it into a fishing and boating spot. After
his death, his daughter donated the $3 million property to the town, according
to his wishes. While Bellisle cautioned that his team has more work to do,
he suggested repairing three of the dams, including the problematic No. 3.
The rest might be removable, he said. "It might be more cost-effective to remove
those structures," he said, referring to the need to maintain any dams that are
Several Conservation Commission members noted that removing dams could make the remaining ponds bigger, increasing recreational opportunities. While the engineering team still needs to assess the impact of different options and make a final recommendation, Conservation Commission Chairman Raymond Willis said after the meeting that the removal of four dams could range anywhere from several hundred thousand dollars to a couple of million. The current study costs $25,000 and is being funded by fees and fines collected by the commission. Any further spending would have to come from other sources, Willis has said. During Thursday's meeting, Bellisle pointed out that there are more than 3,000 dams in Massachusetts, with Franklin's structures unlikely to qualify for the limited state repair grants available. Commission member Paul Boncek agreed. "This isn't a very threatening situation," he said. Michael Morton can be reached at email@example.com or 508-634-7582.
WORCESTER, MA - City health officials have issued a coyote alert in response to roughly two dozen sightings of the animals here during the last six weeks, including some near the heart of downtown. Weve had sightings from every part of the city, not just on the outskirts. Theyre coming down into the core of the city, said Derek S. Brindisi, the citys director of public health.
West News staff
Posted Nov 09, 2007 @ 01:13 AM
MA - Chances of evading a
death trap look slim for the Bogastow Brook beavers.
Water commissioners Wednesday night agreed to try saving the beavers, which the state deemed a public health threat in
September, by seeking help from the Massachusetts Audubon Society and the Animal Rescue League. The state Department of Environmental Protection is advising the town to immediately remove the beavers, which commonly carry two life-threatening parasites, giardia lamblia and cryptosporidium, and their dam. The animals' proximity to a public drinking water source, Well No. 5, off Central Street, poses an immediate threat to the water supply and public health. But using lethal traps appears to be the only way to remove the beavers, said Water Department Superintendent Ron Sharpin, since transporting them is illegal. To legally move a wild animal such as a beaver, a permit must be obtained from the state Division of Wildlife & Fisheries, which has a policy to not issue permits to transport beavers, said division spokeswoman Lisa Capone. Yesterday, the Daily News contacted Mass Audubon and the Animal Rescue League of Boston to see whether either group would consider taking the Bogastow Brook beavers and save their lives. "No, we can't take them. You can't move them. No, you definitely can't do that," said Stacy Miller at Mass Audubon in Natick. "That would not work out - we have enough beavers of our own," she said, laughing. The Animal Rescue League also indicated it cannot help the beavers. "If there's healthy wildlife, the state prevents organizations such as ours from picking up a wild animal and moving it to another location," said Christopher Smalley, the league's director of media relations. He suggested the town contact the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which does have a program to manage wildlife. Even if an organization such as Mass Audubon agreed to "adopt" the beavers and give them a new home, the Division of Wildlife & Fisheries will not allow them to be transported, Capone said. Beavers are creating problems "all over" the state, so Wildlife & Fisheries officials view their relocation as simply moving the problem from one place to another, she said. "The Division of Fisheries & Wildlife does not allow relocation of beavers for any reason," Capone said yesterday. Sharpin, who has been in emergency preparedness classes with other town officials all week, said he has not yet contacted the Animal Rescue League or Mass Audubon. Since the state passed the law prohibiting the use of lethal traps without a permit from the local board of health, beavers have caused problems all over the state, Sharpin said. During wetter weather, the overflow of Bogastow Brook created by the beaver dam backed up into neighbors' septic systems. Even after August's record low rainfall, when the pond was down to the lowest level it can go, Sharpin said, it didn't recede from the well. "It's really ridiculous what the law's resulted in. It seemed to be innocent at first ... but it's evolved into a real environmental impact and human impact. "It's a problem we don't know any other solution for, and I guess the state doesn't either," Sharpin said.
(Joyce Kelly can be reached at 508-626-4423 or firstname.lastname@example.org.)
October 18, 2007
HOLLISTON The Water Department is seeking approval to trap and kill beavers after concluding they are creating a threat to the public water supply, according to Superintendent Ron Sharpin. Following Sharpin's application to the state to use banned traps to remove the beavers to protect drinking water Well 5 on Central Street, the Department of Environmental Protection conducted a site inspection. In her Sept. 27 letter, Marielle Stone, chief of the DEP's Drinking Water Program/Bureau of Resource Protection, concluded the presence of beavers there "poses an immediate threat to your public water supply and public health." The Water Department will soon present its concerns about the beaver threat in seeking the Conservation Commission's approval to trap and kill the beavers, Sharpin said. Water Department officials will attempt to convince the Conservation Commission the "only way to protect the water supply is to use the traps and remove the beavers," as the town has used nonlethal methods, which have been unsuccessful, Sharpin said. The use of traps to remove beavers is permitted without an emergency permit during the Nov. 1 - April 15 trapping season, according to Stone. If the town uses the traps, it will not do so until Nov. 1, Sharpin said. After two residents on Pilgrim Road and Bullard Street complained of beaver-related flooding in their yards in March, the Board of Health hired Beaver Solutions, a Southampton consultant, to resolve the problem without lethal body-grip traps. At the time, officials were worried about flooding that occurred within 400 feet of Well 5. "We wanted to use nonlethal methods," said Health Agent/Director Ann McCobb. Beaver Solutions used "beaver deceivers," a piping system to lower the water levels at Bogastow Brook that beavers had raised.
The Water Department and Board of Health have been monitoring the situation since spring, Sharpin said, and observed that in late summer the beaver pond still had not receded from Well 5. "We need a 400-foot radius around the well (to comply with the state's mandate) to control what is within that area, that there is no potential contamination or risk to the water supply," Sharpin said. In July, the department conducted a microscopic particulate analysis test of the well, which indicated a moderate risk of groundwater under the influence of surface water, Sharpin said. Certain particles could be picked up if surface water is feeding groundwater, which creates a moderate risk of slight contamination, Sharpin said.
Chelmsford, MA - A woman is getting tested for rabies after she was attacked by a fox.
Police say the aggressive fox bit her and cut her right leg. It even tried to get into her condo.
Animal rescue is testing the fox for rabies and is waiting for results.
Officers say they had to destroy the fox.
By Jeff Gilbride, Daily News staff
Posted Sep 13, 2007
The Amherst Bulletin - August 17, 2007
To the Bulletin:
I found it interesting that the article concerning erosion and giardia contamination at Puffer's Pond avoided mentioning the resident beavers and instead focused attention on the human activity around and in the pond. Having visited the local swimming hole and conservation area for 20 years, I have sadly noticed much devastation, specifically around the pond itself, in the past five to eight years. Sad because not only is Puffer's Pond a wonderful, icy cold swimming spot that makes this area so special, but also because of the loss of important climax forest trees which have taken many years to grow to their mature sizes. What I have noticed in the past years is the construction of a beaver dam, and then subsequent destruction of many trees around the pond, including old beautiful beech and hemlock trees. I believe this has led to the erosion problems more than the human activity around and in the pond, which only occurs a few months out of the year. The beavers are at work for a much longer period. And one has to consider that the ultimate destiny of a beaver-inhabited area is meadow. The beavers will use up all the food available and then leave. It is easy to see the changes at Puffer's that have resulted from the beaver activity. A marsh is growing, and giardia counts are most likely rising. I am a naturalist and love nature, but I am not the type that doesn't believe in deer hunting or getting rid of beavers when they cause serious problems for humans or even the natural environment. Consider that Puffer's Pond is a much-loved man-made swimming hole, and many children enjoy this spot during the summer months. Giardia is a nasty parasite that causes chronic diarrhea, intestinal discomfort, fatigue and weight loss. It requires medication. Children are more likely to ingest the cysts from beaver feces by ingesting the pond water. Giardia cysts can last out of water on toys (perhaps rafts) for a long time. Also, the organism can be harbored by dogs. A beaver is a giant rodent, the largest North American rodent in fact. They feed on tree bark and cambium (the living layer of the tree, underneath the bark), living for up to 20 years. If one were to look up "beaver damage" online, one would find that not only is it a common problem, but one of the main aspects of the damage that beavers cause is erosion. Erosion was the main problem at Puffer's Pond cited in the article by Mary Carey. There seems to be a problem with beaver control in this area. Puffer's Pond is just another victim of the lack of policy for dealing with beaver damage. One has to wonder: Do I prefer a beautiful swimming hole, with lovely trees, or do I prefer beavers taking over, infesting the water with a parasite and turning the swimming hole into a meadow? Personally, I prefer beech trees to beavers. Especially in a conservation area, for the beavers will and have ruined the conservation of other important wildlife species. - Patricia Duffy, Leverett MA
Officials: Beavers a threat to water supply
(back to top)
By Joyce Kelly/Daily News staff - METROWEST DAILY NEWS
Posted Oct 18, 2007 @ 06:11
The Water Department is seeking approval to trap and kill beavers after concluding they are creating a threat to the public water supply, according to Superintendent Ron Sharpin. Following Sharpin's application to the state to use banned traps to remove the beavers to protect drinking water Well 5 on Central Street, the Department of Environmental Protection conducted a site inspection. In her Sept. 27 letter, Marielle Stone, chief of the DEP's Drinking Water Program/Bureau of Resource Protection, concluded the presence of beavers there "poses an immediate threat to your public water supply and public health." The Water Department will soon present its concerns about the beaver threat in seeking the Conservation Commission's approval to trap and kill the beavers, Sharpin said. Water Department officials will attempt to convince the Conservation Commission the "only way to protect the water supply is to use the traps and remove the beavers," as the town has used nonlethal methods, which have been unsuccessful, Sharpin said. The use of traps to remove beavers is permitted without an emergency permit during the Nov. 1 - April 15 trapping season, according to Stone. If the town uses the traps, it will not do so until Nov. 1, Sharpin said. After two residents on Pilgrim Road and Bullard Street complained of beaver-related flooding in their yards in March, the Board of Health hired Beaver Solutions, a Southampton consultant, to resolve the problem without lethal body-grip traps. At the time, officials were worried about flooding that occurred within 400 feet of Well 5. "We wanted to use nonlethal methods," said Health Agent/Director Ann McCobb. Beaver Solutions used "beaver deceivers," a piping system to lower the water levels at Bogastow Brook that beavers had raised. The Water Department and Board of Health have been monitoring the situation since spring, Sharpin said, and observed that in late summer the beaver pond still had not receded from Well 5. "We need a 400-foot radius around the well (to comply with the state's mandate) to control what is within that area, that there is no potential contamination or risk to the water supply," Sharpin said. In July, the department conducted a microscopic particulate analysis test of the well, which indicated a moderate risk of groundwater under the influence of surface water, Sharpin said. Certain particles could be picked up if surface water is feeding groundwater, which creates a moderate risk of slight contamination, Sharpin said.
The Patriot Ledger Quincy, MA - Karen
September 8, 2007
Hingham MA - It was a typical morning that would wind up tragic for a Hingham dog
owner. Ken Cardillo and his family hope sharing what happened that day
might spare other pet owners - or parents - from a similar experience.
Like countless other mornings, Matilda, an 8-year-old Boston
terrier, woke Cardillo, wanting to be let outside. It was part of their
daily routine; Matilda would do her business while Cardillo shaved for
work. The little dog never wandered far
from the Beal Street house and would wait for Cardillo to return and let
her inside, he said. But one morning last week, just a few minutes after
she went outside, Cardillo said he heard a loud whimper.
He quickly dressed, grabbed a flashlight and ran outside,
searching in brush and briars. His son joined him, they called police,
but Matilda was nowhere to be found. Later, he said, a neighbor told him
three coyotes had been behind Cardillo's house. "They must've come down
and grabbed her," Cardillo said. Cardillo said he had never seen coyotes
on his property. But he has seen them on his street.
In the full light of day, one of Cardillo's daughters, Alison,
went into the woods and found Matilda's body. Cardillo said he didn't
want to know the details, but heard enough.
"She was kinda ripped apart," he said. "I didn't ask my daughter
for more." These days coyote sightings are not uncommon in suburbs like
Hingham or even in cities. During the spring and summer, police and
animal control receive several calls about the canines, but under state
law, there is little that can be done about them.
Usually coyotes, while not shy, will not bother with larger pets
or people. But, state wildlife experts and veterinarians who deal with
attacked pets say it is never a good idea to leave small dogs or cats
unattended when coyotes are known to be nearby.
Coyotes have adapted to the suburbs because food and shelter is easy to come by. But a hungry coyote may see a small dog as prey and a big dog as competition. Hingham Animal Control Officer Al Currie said fatal attacks like the one on Matilda are rare. He believes the last one happened about 5 or 6 years ago. He said for the most part coyotes "do what they're supposed to do," but the more they lose remote places to live and hunt, the more careful people need to be. "It's not just small dogs, if you've got an old dog, a sick dog, it's not so much the size," Currie said. "If you've got a coyote around, don't leave the dog unsupervised and definitely don't let it run by itself." Cardillo's daughter, Karin, who grew up on Beal Street and now lives in Maine, said she is concerned for residents in the area with pets as well as small children. There are a lot more young families in the area than there used to be, she said. "People probably know the coyotes are out there," she said. "But they may not know just how close the animals really are." Karen Goulart may be reached at email@example.com.
Telegram & Gazette July 19, 2007 - Shirley Barnes
Templeton MA - The worst natural hazard facing
local officials is one they share with many other rural communities -
the beaver. The Montachusett Regional
Planning Commission met with local officials yesterday to help the town
create a plan to mitigate the effects a natural disaster might have on a
community. Earthquakes, sinkholes,
hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, blizzards, lightning strikes,
torrential rains, snow and ice, floods and drought - nothing compares to
the concern officials have about the effects of beavers.
The meeting was a little more than two hours long and one hour
was spent almost exclusively on beaver dams and the problems they have
created on roads, for homeowners, and the light and water department and
sewer departments. Beaver abound in the town, which is full of streams,
brooks, ponds, bridges with culverts and a plentiful supply of trees.
Jason Stanton, an analyst for the planning commission, told town
officials the time they spend on beaver problems is not unusual.
"Typically, these meetings are about two hours long and in rural
communities, the first hour is usually spent on beaver problems,"
Mr. Stanton said. Town officials said
beaver activity near Route 202 in the King Philip Trail area could
create a disaster if the dams were allowed to back water up into the
closed, but unlined, former landfill. Other problems could be created if
sewer lines were crushed or pump stations flooded. One pump station was
flooded several years ago, when water from the Birchhill flood
protection area backed up to surround the station. This was not related
to anything beavers had done, officials said.
Beaver activity is a problem from the southern end of Templeton
at Stone Bridge Road to the northern section near Baldwinville Center
and Royalston Road. There have also been problems in East Templeton, at
the Plant Road sewer pump station, where a broken line could send sewage
into the swamps and wetlands in that area.
Beaver baffles have been placed in some problem culverts in town,
and employees of various town departments spend several hours each week
cleaning culverts and removing dams.
Beaver activity can also create erosion problems, which means more
highway hours spent on repairs, according to Highway Superintendent
Francis "Bud" Chase. A flood in Depot Pond, near Bridge Street, could
wash out a lot of Baldwinville Center, Mr. Chase said.
The town also needs to inspect dams, which could create major flood hazards if breached. Robert Biagi, project consultant for MRPC, reminded town officials that global warming floods could increase over the next 10 years. If there is not enough snow and slow snow melt to release into the earth, the area could face dry vegetation and other drought-related problems.
The town should also prepare residents for disasters by providing a list of food and supplies that might be needed. "The town might not face a major disaster, but even a short time without access to staples can create problems," Mr. Biagi warned. The town has faced hurricanes and minor tornadoes, but must prepare for any big wind event that might occur. Fire Chief Thomas Smith pinpointed several areas in which fires could spread and create a disaster, including in downtown Baldwinville. There, old houses are clustered close to churches and potential fire hazards. Furthermore, at the new DayMill Town House complex, fire apparatus access is limited. The town is already working on storm water runoff and drainage correction plans. The regional planning commission is working with area towns to develop a Natural Hazard Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan to help reduce or eliminate loss of life or property from natural disasters. In the future, all communities must have a Hazard Mitigation Plan in place to qualify for federal Disaster Mitigation grants.
By Joyce Kelly/Daily News staff
Posted Jul 03, 2007 @ 11:17 PM
HOLLISTON, MA - On a recent Saturday morning, the Ahearn family was eating breakfast on the patio of their 68 Cheryl St. home when their German shepherd, Sam, started barking at a noise in the woods. Suddenly, a snarling fox charged into their backyard toward Sam. "My wife had the kids run inside. My wife, at first tried to get the dog inside, but couldn't get between the dog and the fox - there was nothing she could do," William Ahearn said. Sam reared up, "took him on, and took him to the ground," said Ahearn. The dog stood back, and the fox got up and attacked him a second time - and that's when Sam killed it, Ahearn said. Initially, the family thought the black and tan fox, which Ahearn estimated was about half the size of Sam, who weighs 75 pounds, was a coyote. Ahearn grew up around alligators, and said he is not too shaken by the June 16 incident, which the Board of Health reported at its meeting Monday. The family has seen many foxes in the area, and as many as seven coyotes, he said. "It certainly wasn't the smallest fox I've ever seen," Ahearn said. Holliston Animal Hospital later determined the animal was a red fox and tested positive for rabies, according to Animal Inspector Donald Kramer. The fox bit Sam in the head, which left a mark but did not puncture the skin, he said. Since Sam had his rabies vaccination, the family was told to just quarantine him at home for 45 days, Board of Health Agent/Director Ann McCobb said. Animals must be decapitated to test for rabies, which requires taking a brain tissue sample, McCobb said. Only a few cats and dogs - typically 1 percent or less - test positive for the virus, according to Michael Cahill, rabies program coordinator for the state Department of Agricultural Resources. For that reason, Cahill strongly recommends owners quarantine their pets for 10 days rather than needlessly kill and test them, which also costs the state time and money. Last year, 400 dogs were killed to be tested for rabies, and not a single one was positive, according to the state Department of Public Health Web site. "They are tested way more than they should be ... and they shouldn't be put down," he said. Rabies is most prevalent in raccoons, foxes, skunks and bats, Cahill said. Animals are not infectious during the incubation period, but pose a threat once the virus becomes active: when it reaches and swells the brain, much like encephalitis, and, three days later, saliva, he said. The longest dogs and cats live when they're actively infected is eight days, but typically four or five, he said. The state averages one positively tested rabid animal a day, and the distribution of rabid animals is widespread, he said. Southern Worcester County is busy now, and in June, animals tested positive for rabies in the towns of Holliston (red fox), Framingham (raccoon), Wellesley (raccoon), Brookline (bat), and Sudbury (woodchuck), Cahill said. Massachusetts was free of rabies until the early 1990s, when southern animals spread a virulent form of the virus up the East Coast, primarily through raccoons, according to Wayne F. MacCallum, director of MassWildlife. Now rabies, which can infect any mammal, is endemic to Massachusetts and kills most of the raccoons and foxes here, he said. The population then rebuilds itself, and the virus takes aim again - about a four-year cycle, MacCallum said. "There's no way to eliminate the virus unless you eliminated all the animals," MacCallum said. Signs to watch for: Erratic behavior: animals do not show wariness or fear of people, and some instances, attack people. Normally, MacCallum said, foxes are "quite leery" and keep their distance. When they are infected with rabies - they can exhibit a "passive friendliness" that can attract children. Foaming at the mouth occurs in only about 15 percent of rapid animals, MacCallum said. If an animal starts acting strangely, call animal control, he advised. "The best way to protect your family and your pets from rabies is to make sure your cats and dogs are current with vaccinations, which are safe and effective," Cahill said.
William Ahearn said he is pleased at how Sam reacted. "Having the dog out there was kind of an assurance (of protection). He certainly did his job - not that we got him to be an attack dog, but it's something German shepherds are good at," he said. "Certain instincts are bred in shepherds to protect, and he certainly was protecting his people." (Joyce Kelly can be reached at 508-626-4423 or firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Many in suburbs fretting as beavers build wildly
By Javier C. Hernandez, Globe Correspondent | June 28, 2007
ANDOVER, MA - In the midst of the Great Depression, beavers were so scarce in Massachusetts after years of unrestricted hunting that the state was forced to acquire three from New York to revive their presence. Now the number of buck-toothed, tree-chomping rodents is exploding across the state, with beavers causing flooded backyards and munching their way through local forests. Wildlife specialists said the state's beaver population has tripled in the last decade to an estimated 70,000 to 80,000. The boom coincides with a record number of complaints about Castor canadensis. As residential sprawl yet again pits human against animal, the large rodents have sparked territorial battles in cranberry bogs in the southeastern part of the state, near wetlands in Western Massachusetts, and in neighborhoods across the Merrimack Valley and the North Shore. While there have been scattered reports of beaver problems around the state over the past several years, Alan French, who heads the Andover-based Bay Circuit Alliance, a coalition of state and local landowners -- said the dams showing up in the Andover area this year are the biggest he has ever seen . Several months ago, flooding from beaver dams closed an 18-mile stretch of the 200-mile Bay Circuit Trail, which rings Boston. French, 75, is working with local landowners to bypass the flooded areas of the trail, but he said the beaver issue has divided residents of Andover, impeding efforts to solve the problem. "If you had 10 neighbors, the other nine would be for nuking them," French said yesterday during a tour of Andover dams. "The polarization is just gigantic." On the tour, French walked past a bench built in memory of his late wife. Because of the handiwork of beavers, it now sits in mud, overlooking a drowning boardwalk near the Skug River. The growth of human and beaver populations, coupled with stronger restrictions on trapping, has led to tensions, especially in Northeastern Massachusetts suburbs, according to Stephen DeStefano, a US Geological Survey researcher at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst who studies beavers for the state."In general, what we're seeing is there are more beavers trying to occupy more places," he said. While beavers have a reputation for troublemaking, conservationists point to the positive effect they can have on habitats. Indeed, on Andover's Salem Street, right across from a dam on the Skug River Reservation, Susan Reichter and her family have come to love the beavers' presence. They snap photos of the rare wood ducks, great blue herons, and mallards that dip in and out of the new pond in her backyard created by flooding from a nearby dam. While French pointed to nearby pines and explained beavers' techniques, Reichter bolted out of her house to question him. She said she watches over the dam to prevent other local residents from trying to tear it down."The fact that the beaver has done what he's done is great," said Reichter, a bookkeeper.
Massachusetts voters passed a referendum that restricted the use of
traps. To trap a beaver outside the sanctioned season, which runs from
Nov. 1 to April 15, residents must obtain a special permit by convincing
their local health board that the beaver's presence poses a safety risk.
John Benedetto, 58, has served as a trapper in the Wakefield area for 40
years. He said he has noticed a dramatic increase recently in the number
of residents who have called him for help. "Everybody likes the beaver
until he moves into the backyard," he said with a chuckle. "Some of the
messes people get into are unbelievable. People are suffering." Towns
and cities use several different methods to deter beavers, ranging from
simple trapping to "beaver deceivers," pipes that are installed beneath
dams to stealthily drain ponds, so beavers won't be spurred by the sound
of trickling water to instinctively repair their dams. Some residents
take more drastic measures. In late spring, DeStefano said, when
flooding is common but trapping is illegal without a special permit,
more residents appear to be killing the animals outright.
"We're always concerned about the humane treatment of animals,"
he said. "It feels a little out of control." Underneath
the white pines surrounding the reservation named for his wife, French
paused to point out where cattails used to grow. Only water and mud
occupy the spot now. French said he hopes residents in Andover will
begin to compromise to solve the beaver impasse. "I just want people to
be able to walk the trail again," he said. "But you can see the emotions
on each side," French said. "I don't think we are going to solve it in a
Hernandez can be reached at email@example.com
Brian Messenger - staff writer
EagleTribune.com [STORY], North Andover, MA -
June 26, 2007
HAVERHILL There was a time when it was all but impossible to find a beaver in Massachusetts. They had been hunted to near extinction in the Bay State. Wildlife supporters may be happy to see the beaver population strong again, but some locals would like the critters to high-tail it out of the Merrimack Valley. Beaver dams are causing flooding from Haverhill to Andover to Newburyport. Conservation Officer Mark Sheehan said several spots in Haverhill are periodically flooded by the work of beavers. There are pockets of colonies, such as the wetland area behind Regan Ford (car dealership) where they have been a nuisance for the last six to eight years, he said. The Wastewater Department visits weekly to monitor and maintain those blockages so the water flows as it should and doesn't back up. You could end up with flooding of a septic field, or it could get into your basement, Sheehan said. That's when the Health Department comes in as they have authority to issue beaver dam breach permits, which give you the power to gradually pull back the blockage to restore the water to its original height. In Andover, the bottoms of trees lining the east side of Route 125 near Prospect Road are now rotting under water because of beaver dams. Less than a mile away, bridges and boardwalks built for hikers have been submerged. At least four land reservations in the southeast portion of Andover have been affected by the dams. Its pretty much beaver central, said David Bunting, co-chairman of the Andover Trails Committee. The 200-mile Bay Circuit Trail, which runs through 34 towns, including Andover, North Andover and Newburyport, also has been blocked at certain points by flooding caused by beaver dams. Within the last two years they've basically infiltrated the entire Skug River area and built multiple dams that have flooded out many of our trails, said Bunting, also co-warden of the 37-acre Skug River Reservation in Andover. Once absent from the state for more than 150 years, beavers have proliferated here since the early 1900s. In 1996, Massachusetts voters passed a ballot referendum that restricted the use of many animal traps. As a result, the beaver population tripled in a five-year span, from 24,000 in 1996 to 70,000 in 2001, according to the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Theres more interaction between beavers and homeowners than theres ever been, said Andover Conservation Director Bob Douglas. But from an environmental standpoint its not completely negative. Because beavers create wetland areas, they help support numerous other species. Though flooding can happen where beavers build their dams and lodges, the wetlands they create also can prevent flooding elsewhere downstream. So while homeowners often curse the work of beavers, conservation agents try to accept it. The reality is we have to coexist with them, said Fred Snell, president of the Andover Village Improvement Society. Theyre a pain in the neck, and theyre also beneficial at the same time. The beaver population in Massachusetts has quadrupled over the last century, according to Douglas. Its kind of a constant battle of housing issues ... versus a species trying to adjust, said Chris Ward, superintendent of the 700-acre Ward Reservation in both Andover and North Andover. Theyre just doing what theyre meant to do. If they hear running water, they want to dam it up. In 2004, beavers flooded a portion of Ward Reservation, disturbing several miles of trails. In the next six months, Ward and volunteers plan to build a $2,000 boardwalk to restore the flooded trail. Though beavers can be killed by licensed trappers between November and April, the semiaquatic mammals with few natural predators receive an unparalleled level of protection, said Douglas. To trap beavers between April and November, the damage done by the animals must meet the criteria of a public health hazard, according to Andover Health Inspector Patty Crafts. Homeowners should really do their research before they purchase near a wetland that has running water, said Crafts. All of a sudden, come spring, theyll lose their trees. Such 10-day emergency trapping permits are granted by the town fewer than 10 times a year, Crafts said. The flooding of a road or disturbance of a septic system will warrant a permit, she said, as was the case on Gray Road and near High Plain Road. According to Mass. Wildlife, breaching or removing dams and the installation of water level control devices are alternatives to trapping and killing beavers. But despite the problems beavers can create, both Bunting and Ward expressed tolerance of the animals on the reservations they oversee. Our policy with Andover Trails and AVIS is of complete tolerance, said Bunting. Its a matter of relocating trails as needed. Its something that we have to deal with, said Ward. If beavers cant make it on conservation land, where the heck can they make it?
By Joyce Kelly/Daily News Staff
June 13, 2007 @ 1:02 am
The MetroWest Daily News
Perhaps they don't like the sound of water, or
the movement of rushing water. ..
Marlborough, MA -
Whatever the reason, beavers have just one overwhelming drive: to
stop flowing water, according to Robert Landry, Marlborough Board of
Health administrator. "That's what they live for:
stopping the water," Landry said with a laugh. That
devotion to dam-building has led to a lot of headaches.
The dams redirect water from rivers and streams into MetroWest
backyards. In some cases, the beavers' industry has dried up small ponds
and at least one private well, area board of health officials say.
In towns like Holliston,
By Steve Bagley/Correspondent
Tuesday June 12, 2007
Sherborn, MA - They're back.
Beavers have returned to Sherborn and are already
causing damage, forcing the Board of Selectmen, at their May 31 meeting,
to begin discussing what to do about the damage the animals cause, and
how to pay for it. If left unchecked, the flood damage the dams cause
may have to be paid for by Sherborns residents.
At that meeting, Sherborn resident Eliot Taylor threw
his finger into the air. Due to beavers destructive nature to septic
systems, he said, The Massachusetts Audubon Society and the state
should bear all costs and exterminate all the beavers. They spray for
mosquitoes. Beavers do not belong in Sherborn.
Selectmen Chairman Chris Peck and the rest of the
board are investigating non-lethal ways to solve the problem. But there
was a sense of urgency in the board. We have to deal with the beavers, said Vice
Chairman Paul DeRensis. The board wants to deal with these seasonal
trouble-makers nonlethally, and soon.
Jean Bednor, agent for the
Sherborn Conservation Commission, said that the flooding started in
April, after 4 inches of rain fell in two days. The fire road next to
the Dunstable Dam was flooded, and remains under several inches of pond
water. The access it provides to the
News 7, Boston, Monday, May 14, 2007
WEYMOUTH, MA - A coyote is on the attack in Weymouth. Its target: a rottweiler. Ralph Tarina put his pup on a lease, and a minute later one gutsy coyote attacked. Tarina's dog Daisy is far from dainty. She's a 100-pound rottweiler. The average coyote doesn't even weigh half that much. While the dog and coyote began to wrestle on the ground, Tarina grabbed the first weapon he could find.
Wed Nov 07, 2007, 11:58 PM EST
HOLLISTON, MA - Water Commissioners last night decided they are going to try and save the Bogastow Brook beavers one more time before bringing in the trappers. "I just have to believe there's some way we can (remove the beavers without killing them)," said Water Commissioner Michael Nagle. At Nagle's request, Water Superintendent Ron Sharpin will contact the Animal Rescue League and Mass. Audubon Society to see if they have a viable alternative to lethal traps - specifically, getting around the state's policy of not allowing transport of live beavers. On Sept. 21, the state inspected the public drinking water at the Well 5 site off Central Street and concluded beavers there pose an immediate threat to the public health. Beavers commonly carry two life-threatening parasites, giardia lamblia and cryptosporidium, and their dam has created a massive pool of water within 200 feet of Well 5, the state Department of Environmental Protection wrote in a letter to the Water Department. The state requires a 400-foot buffer zone. The state advised the town to immediately remove the beavers and dismantle the dam.
By George Barnes Telegram & Gazette Staff June 29 '07
MA - Beaver justice may have been behind a power
outage that left the entire town in the dark for four hours
yesterday. I'm calling it a revenge of the beaver. Police
Chief Richard D. Valcourt said. Chief Valcourt said he was called
out about 2:15 am for a report of a car crash on Route 2A that might
have caused a power outage. The chief said he was aware of the
outage because his own power was out. When he arrived, he learned it
was not a car crash, but a case of beaver-caused damage. I found a
beaver had cut down a large poplar tree in front of Athol Ford, he
said. The chief, who also is a state forester, said the tree was
about 60 feet tall and was laid neatly across the power lines. He
said what made him suspect revenge as a motive was an accident a
little more than eight hours before. At 6 p.m. Sunday, at the same
spot where the tree was cut, a beaver crossing Route 2A was killed
in a hit and run accident. The chief said the furry accident victim
was likely from the same family as the tree cutter. He said the
downed line could have been a simple logging accident, but he thinks
otherwise. I think he lost his family member and that was his
revenge, the chief said...
woman warns her neighbors to keep pets inside
(back to top)
The Eagle Tribune online, Jason Tait
April 20, 2007
Haverhill, MA - - The sound outside his dark bedroom window was eerie, like a little girl screaming in distress, said 14-year-old Joey Greenwood. His father, Richard, stepped outside to check the noise and found the familys dog, Buddy, being attacked by a coyote on the front lawn of their Bradford home. The wild canine was on top of the 27-pound cockapoo, chomping on its throat. Buddy is being treated at an animal hospital for a damaged thorax and severe flesh loss, said Joeys mother, Barbara. The dog is not conscious and may not survive, she said. Wednesday nights scary experience is spurring Barbara Greenwood to warn her Bradford neighbors to keep their pets inside to avoid Buddy's fate. I'm just concerned, she said. Her concerns are justified, based on what wildlife officials are reporting about coyotes in the area. Suburban sprawl has encroached on the coyote habitat, causing more sightings of coyotes as their forests and open space disappear. Haverhill Conservation Officer Mark Sheehan said coyote numbers also have been growing over the decades, in part because the animals only predator human hunters are dwindling. Coyotes also are prolific breeders, and their numbers can multiply quickly. Were taking away their only natural predator, Sheehan said of hunters, though he said motor vehicle collisions are helping. The population is there to grow if they are not culled out. Coyotes also enjoy living around golf courses, which provide wooded cover to stalk prey in the open fairways, Sheehan said. Haverhill has five 18-hole golf courses. The typical coyote is the size of a small dog but with longer, thicker fur. The largest can weigh 50 or 60 pounds. They primarily eat small rodents, rabbits, deer, birds, frogs and insects, but also will eat fruits, vegetables and pet food left outdoors. They are most often spotted at night or at dawn or dusk. It is against the law to trap and relocate coyotes, so residents have to learn to live with the animals, said veterinarian Dr. Tumkur Narasimhan, owner of Main Street Animal Hospital of Bradford. He occasionally treats animals harmed by coyotes, he said. The best way to limit coyote attacks is to properly dispose of food - do not throw food outside for wild animals to eat, and use trash cans with lids. As long as we are good in our disposal habits, the attacks wont happen, Narasimhan said. Animal Control Officer Michelle Hamel said coyote sightings are commonplace in Haverhill, seen near Northern Essex Community College, the animal shelter off Primrose Street and the Bradford commuter train station. She said coyotes look for easy meals, often from garbage or staking out bird feeders, where smaller animals stop to eat, she said. Sometimes they cross paths with the family pet. They are very opportunistic animals, Hamel said. They will eat whenever food is available. She said owners should always be aware that their pets can be attacked by wild animals anywhere in Haverhill. Im a firm believer that everyone should keep an eye on their pets, because you never know, Hamel said. People can easily scare away coyotes with loud noises and bright lights, according to MassWildlife. A water hose also is effective. The Greenwoods live on Chadwick Road, north of Chadwick Pond in Bradford, a semirural area near the Boxford line, and said Buddy often spent time outside at night. The attack happened at about 10 p.m. Wednesday. Joey said he was on the phone when he heard the screaming, looked outside and saw nothing. I thought maybe it was down the street, like a little girl or something, Joey said of the yelping. He heard the screams again so he warned his father, Richard, who ran outside and saw the wild animal on Buddy, a cross between a cocker spaniel and poodle. He yelled at the coyote, which ran off. He carried the bloody and muddy dog into the house and then rushed it to Bulger Animal Hospital in North Andover. It just seemed unreal to me, Barbara Greenwood said of the attack. Sheehan said that in his 20 years as a conservation professional, most coyote attacks involve cats, chickens and very small dogs, such as Chihuahuas. That's not commonplace from what I've seen, Sheehan said of the attack on Buddy. Very seldom do we ever see a coyote get into an altercation with a large dog. He said the coyote may have needed extra food for a litter of pups, or Buddy threatened it somehow.
Coyotes maul, kill family pet
By Christopher Loh/ The Daily News Tribune
Posted Mar 28, 2007 @ 12:01 AM
Newton, MA - Coyotes are being blamed for two separate attacks on dogs in the past week, one of which was fatal. The first attack took place near the Brae Burn Country Club in Waban. The second incident took place about four miles away near Hammond Pond Parkway. On Thursday afternoon, a woman on Bonnybrook Road in Waban let her small Cairn terrier out for a break in the backyard. A few minutes later, she returned to find the dog in a coyote's mouth with another standing nearby, police said. The pair of coyotes fled into the woods and was chased by a neighbor wielding a broom. The neighbor chased the coyotes until they dropped the dog, dead from the attack. Newton Police were called and the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife was contacted, but nothing could be done. Yesterday, a Beacon Street resident in the Hammond Pond Parkway area heard her yellow Labrador yelp and when it came into the house, the dog had a wound to its rear leg. The owner went outside and was able to illuminate a pair of eyes in the woods with a flashlight; at approximately 3 a.m., she heard coyotes howling nearby. Newton Animal Control Officer John O'Connell said the Bonnybrook Road incident is the only coyote attack to be confirmed, but that the Beacon Street report seems likely as well. O'Connell said coyote attacks are rare in Newton, but have been known to happen."Last year, between Newton and Brookline, there were about five attacks," said O'Connell. "Bonnybrook is the first one to be confirmed this year." O'Connell said coyotes are typically more aggressive during this time of year as it is breeding season."Coyotes are going to be more active," O'Connell said. "They're going to be more territorial and will potentially get into attacks with larger dogs." What to do ... Marion Larson of the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife said she had heard of Thursday's attack, but that the division had no direct involvement."Statewide - I get an e-mail at least once a week (about an attack)," said Larson of the frequency of wild animal attacks on domesticated pets. " Probably, an animal is attacking someone's loose pet several times a week in Massachusetts." And while Larson didn't want to alarm people, she did provide plenty of information regarding coyote safety."Coyotes are wild animals, and like other wild animals they generally try to avoid people," Larson said. "What I recommend is if you see a coyote spending a certain amount of time, or if you know of one that hangs around, go out and run and yell and scream and holler and run straight at them - the coyote is going to turn to leave." While Larson said she understood this seems like "insane" behavior that it is "coyote language" for "you're not welcome to be here."Larson said the "little things" matter when trying to deter coyotes from an area. "Our behavior is going to influence a coyote's behavior," Larson said. So do you leave pet food outside? Do you take the trash out the night before or the morning of pickup? It's the "little things" that a person can do like taking the trash to the curb the morning of pickup that helps in the long run. Larson also warned that this time of year is breeding season so larger pets, such as golden retrievers or Labradors, can be seen by coyotes as threats to their territory. "They will want to defend their area," Larson said. Still, in the end, Larson stayed with her message of not over exaggerating a problem."There have been three documents of attacks on people by coyotes in the last 50 years," Larson said. "I'm sure there have been more dog bites in one year in the (city) of Newton. But I also understand people are anxious about what they don't understand."
Christopher Loh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 2, 2007 MDFW report
This past week, the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) received a number of calls from concerned citizens, municipal officials and the media regarding an incident over the past weekend involving a coyote attack on a small dog and subsequent shooting of coyotes by local officials in Framingham. Inquiries included concerns regarding the coyotes involved in the incident and the actions of the municipal officials. A number of questions about coyote behavior, pet and child safety and relevant laws about coyotes have also been fielded by MassWildlife biologists. As the state agency responsible for wildlife in Massachusetts, MassWildlife has been working with local officials on this incident and providing information to the public regarding coyote behavior.
The Salem News - Steve Landwehr, staff writer
February 1, 2007
HAMILTON MA - The town Board of Health is issuing permits to trap beavers in Miles River to relieve flooding problems the board believes are endangering the public. The state trapping season has already begun and will last until April. Trappers don't need a permit to capture beavers alive but do need one to catch them in a killing trap. Forty licenses, each valid for 10 days, will be sold. Health Board Chairman Steve Druschel said this week the rising waters behind beaver dams in Miles River, near Gardner Street, are causing damage to a culvert under the road. If it gets worse, the road will have to be closed to replace the culvert. That would create a public health risk because fire and other emergency personnel would be delayed by going around it, Druschel said. Homeowners' septic systems are also being threatened by the rising water. "We need to give the town a chance to get ahead of the problem, at least for a little while," Druschel said. Under state law, the board can issue successive 10-day permits. But even if it does, Druschel is under no illusion that a beaver population probably numbering in the many hundreds will be eradicated. "Beavers will be there until the food supply is exhausted," he said. In neighboring Wenham, Animal Control Officer Michael Kavanaugh will begin a 50-day trapping period April 1. David Standley, the Ipswich Conservation Commission chairman who formerly headed what is now the state Department of Environmental Protection, has long maintained that beaver trapping is, for the most part, a fool's errand.Even if trapping were "exhaustive," Standley said, relief would be only temporary. "For a year or so, you probably don't have problems," he said. "But you can count on repopulation." But Ipswich Town Manager Robert Markel said no one is talking about eliminating the rodents. "It's a population - like the deer population - that needs to be thinned," Markel said. 'A stupid idea' - Hamilton's Susanna Colloredo is a founder of the Essex County Trail Association, which maintains a network of equestrian and pedestrian trails in the region. Many sections of trails have been affected by beavers, but she is opposed to trapping them. That's not because she is an animal lover, but because trapping "seems like a stupid idea," Colloredo said. "You can't blame every problem in the Miles River on beavers," she said. She noted this has been a particularly wet year, making problems worse than during a year of normal precipitation. For years, Miles River was an important water storage area in heavy rains, carrying storm water out to the ocean. But an invasion of non-native purple loosestrife, fueled by fertilizer running off lawns into the river, is strangling it. The river is always full, and when it rains there is no place for the water to go. Flooding during the Mother's Day storm destroyed three culverts in Wenham. The cost to replace them was $1.8 million. Hamilton Conservation Commission Chairman John Hamilton said he is not opposed to trapping beavers "in troublesome areas," but doesn't agree with widespread trapping. "There's a hue and cry for trapping beavers wherever they are," Hamilton said. "But beavers are a very small part of the problem with the Miles River." Druschel does not want all the beavers to go away - "They're fabulous to watch" - but said human health trumps rodents in this case. "We've had people who in good faith put septic systems in where they should have been," he said, "and now the beavers are threatening them." Growing pains Why are beavers suddenly such a problem? They are native to the state but were driven out by both trapping and deforestation. As farming ceased to be the primary occupation, pastures slowly returned to forest. The beavers followed the trees, but were kept in check for many years by trapping. In 1975, the steel-jawed leg-hold trap was banned in Massachusetts, and in 1997 soft-jawed traps were also banned. The beaver population began to explode. In 2000, the state amended trapping laws to allow the use of Conibear, or body-gripping traps that break beavers' backs when they snap closed. The traps can be used only when beavers are a threat to health or safety. Beavers have litters of up to six kits every year. They stay with their parents for two years, then go out to establish their own territories. They can range quite far and will go wherever there is water. Adult beavers can be up to 4 feet long from nose to tail and weigh up to 80 pounds. Even coyotes, their only possible predators, think twice about tackling such a formidable foe, whose tail can do a lot of damage.
DAN CROWLEY - Staff WriterDaily Hampshire Gazette (Northampton, MA)
December 14, 2006
NORTHAMPTON, MA - Nine months after they were the center of a wildlife controversy, beavers have returned to the sprawling Barrett Street Marsh in Northampton. And once again, the Department of Public Works is seeking to trap and kill the semi-aquatic animals, citing a compromised storm-water drainage system and potential for flooding in neighborhoods surrounding the marsh. The Conservation Commission will take up that request when it meets tonight at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Puchalski Municipal Building. "It's a delicate situation," said Ned Huntley, director of the DPW, who put the request in a Nov. 13 letter. "You have nature and man together, and sometimes they have trouble co-existing." Earlier this year, the DPW reportedly trapped and killed eight beavers in the Barrett Street Marsh. The trapping drew protests from wildlife advocates but was a necessary move, DPW officials argued. At the time, public works officials said the beavers had caused the water level in the marsh, located just north of downtown, to climb nearly four feet above acceptable levels. A culvert and sedimentation basin near the bike path behind Stop & Shop Supermarket was barely functioning and the animals had created conditions that could have caused hazardous flooding on State and Stoddard streets during spring rains and flood season, public work officials had warned. In fact, the DPW sought and obtained a 10-day emergency trapping permit from the Board of Health. The permit, which health officials extended, allowed the department to use Conibear traps, which are designed to kill beavers instantly. The DPW had previously been restricted to using suitcase-like traps, which some argue are less humane because beavers trapped in them must later be drowned or shot on site. Huntley said the DPW is not seeking to use Conibear traps at this time. He said at least one beaver dam and two or three adult beavers have been identified recently in the marsh. "They're holding back all the water," Huntley said, this week. "It's a matter of what stage the beavers bring it to next." Huntley said the DPW is requesting permission to trap the beavers in the approximately 22-acre marsh because public works officials have received no guidance from the Conservation Commission or Barrett Street Marsh Task Force. The city owns the marsh, which is managed by the Conservation Commission. The DPW is responsible for maintaining the storm-water drainage system within its boundaries. The commission assembled the Barrett Street Task Force in the wake of the beaver conundrum earlier this year. Paul Wetzel, chairman of the commission, said the task force has been preparing a report during the past several months that recommends several alternatives to trapping beavers, as well as management and engineering solutions for the Barrett Street Marsh. The task force hired Skip Lisle, a wildlife biologist and owner of Beaver Deceivers International in Grafton, Vt., to help assess the problems and offer suggestions, according to Wetzel. The panel met Monday night at Forbes Library to review a draft of the report, but it was not finalized. "We do say that a good management plan for the marsh will include or expect beavers to be there," Wetzel said, earlier this week. Wetzel said he plans to give a presentation of the task force's preliminary findings and overview of the situation at tonight's Conservation Commission meeting. The commission also is expected to render a decision on whether to grant the DPW permission to trap beavers in the marsh, he said. "It's not a very easy situation because the drainage is very bad," Wetzel said. "There's almost no flow." Members of the city-based Wildlife Committee, a former subcommittee of the Conservation Commission, also are expected to attend tonight's session.
Boston Globe - Boston, Mass.
Author: Joyce Pellino Crane Globe Correspondent
Date: Oct 27, 2005
Section: Globe NorthWest
Thirty years ago, the Heath Brook trickled along several hundred feet from the home of Leslie Bufano on Marie Street in Tewksbury. But the brook has grown steadily over the decades, and last week it was a pond lapping within 15 feet of the home. Water snakes had replaced garden snakes in Bufano's backyard. "You feel very uneasy when you're watching your property being slowly devoured by the pond," she said. The 12 inches of rain that fell in Greater Lowell Oct. 7 to 15 created a surge in water levels in rivers and streams around the region. But residents in Bufano's neighborhood and others around Tewksbury say the bigger culprit is the beaver population. Tewksbury officials say the town has at least 16 beaver dams. Some of them were damaged by the recent rains, and the rodents have set about repairing them, state wildlife officials say. And that has attracted the attention of homeowners with flooded yards. "I've seen the beavers, and I know that they're damming the water and it's making it worse," said Bufano, 47. Though the Heath Brook area has commanded local officials' attention lately, Bufano's section of town is not the only one facing flooding issues. In a phone interview Tuesday, highway supervisor Ernie Lightfoot rattled off the locations of other beaver dams. "I have sixteen dams that I inspect ... Pond Street, River Road, Serenity Drive, East Street," he said. "Colab Road, Livingston at Chandler, Route 38 behind the old police station, Clark Road, Frasca Field off North Street, Chandler behind the senior center, North Billerica Road, Beech Street, Wamesit Road on the dead-end side off Shawsheen, Foster Road at Heath Brook." Beavers dominated the news nine years ago, when state law prohibited the use of certain types of traps. Today, pending state legislation would introduce a pilot study to investigate reversing the measure. State Representative William G. Greene Jr., a Billerica Democrat, has filed a bill with the Legislature that would reintroduce a certain type of trap called the conibear, which snaps shut like a book, clamping the beaver underwater until it drowns.
May 24, 2006
He was gone in an instant, snatched out of his own backyard while his owners were nearby with another family dog. Bear, a 13-year-old, 25-pound, miniature sheltie-Chihuahua mix, was recovered an hour later, after a panicked search through the woods near his East Harwich home, dead from a coyote attack...
WCVB TV TheBostonChannel.com
POSTED: 5:26 pm EST December 19, 2005
POSTED: 6:20 pm EDT April 20, 2006
Royalston, MA - A hiker spoke out Thursday about a coyote attack in Royalston. NewsCenter 5's David Boeri reported that John Melvin, of Gardner, is receiving rabies treatment after he was bitten by a coyote in the town Monday. "I began making my dinner. At that time, I noticed coyotes coming down the ridge. They were across the river at that time. I didn't think much of it," Melvin said. When Melvin saw three coyotes, he said he thought they wouldn't cross the river. He was wrong. "That's when I looked up. I noticed the three in the corner. I had a stick -- a long stick -- near me. I slammed it down to scare them and that's when the one lunged on my arm and shook it like a rag doll," Melvin said. He suffered eight puncture wounds before he sprayed the coyote with some bear mace. "We are saying that the coyote is very much a public threat," Royalston resident Chet Hall said. The coyote that bit Melvin was presumed to be rabid. Signs have been posted to warn hikers. "We are suggesting that anyone in the town of Royalston that sees a coyote in the daytime that is acting abnormally, if they have the ability to do so, to shoot the coyote if they can," Hall said. Since 1992, eight people have been bitten by coyotes known to be rabid, officials said.
By Kristen Green, Globe Correspondent
Published October 8, 2005
State health officials have determined that the coyote that attacked a 76-year-old Northborough grandfather on an afternoon walk with his grandson was rabid. Arthur Cole, who was bitten multiple times, received a rabies vaccination yesterday. Cole said he was walking with his 4-year-old grandson, Nicholas, along a trail on the Assabet River near his home Wednesday afternoon when the coyote jumped out of nearby brush and bit him on the rear. ''I was trying to kick her away," he said. ''She was more agile than I was."
By Heather Allen, Globe Correspondent | May 3, 2005
Boston MA - In a quiet neighborhood atop a hill with groomed lawns and tulips in bloom, it was the last interruption anyone expected to the serene city setting. Late last Thursday, minutes after he let his dog outside, David Sherris responded to chirping behind his house in Jamaica Plain. He was horrified to see his beloved West Highland terrier, Maggie, in the mouth of a coyote. When Sherris approached the wild animal, it dropped the 18-pound dog and fled into the woods. The small bundle of white, shaggy hair, which Sherris described as part of the family, did not survive. ''The fact of the matter is that this is a residential area; this should not be happening," said Sherris in the home on Neillian Crescent that he shares with his wife and 14-month-old son. ''Additionally shocking is that it could have been my baby. It happened in less than five minutes." Dismayed that Maggie, his companion for 12 years, was dead, Sherris called police to see if they could kill or trap the coyote. He was told that under state law, coyotes, raccoons, opossums, and other wild animals are protected. The city's Animal Control officers searched for the coyote Thursday and Friday, but failed to locate it or a den. Had they found it, they would have had to release it back into its habitat, which could have been a few miles away, said James Cahill, director of animal control in Boston. Cahill said the number of coyote sightings in the city has increased in the past year, especially in West Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, and Mattapan, which he attributed to construction in suburban areas that is forcing coyotes to go elsewhere for food. ''Someone's going to get hurt; it's inevitable," Cahill said. ''It's out of our control. I hope it doesn't happen. Some little tyke is going to get bit some day. Something could happen. I hope it never does on my watch. Your hands are tied a little bit." Because of the pet's death, Councilor John M. Tobin Jr. announced plans last night to go before the City Council tomorrow to seek a hearing on the issue. Tobin said he would like representatives from animal control and from the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife to testify at the hearing, which he hopes will happen soon. ''Clearly, those laws weren't written for what's going on these days," said Tobin, who lives in West Roxbury and came across a coyote in his backyard three months ago. ''With all due respect to coyotes, the law seems to favor coyotes over people's pets or their kids. I can almost see it in a country setting, but for a city like Boston, that's not acceptable." To counter state law, the City Council may be forced to file a home rule petition to change the way the law is enforced in Boston. The Legislature would then have to vote for such a change. Reached last night for comment, a spokesman for the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, which oversees fisheries and wildlife, said the agency is willing to work with lawmakers. ''A proper balance always needs to be struck between public safety and concern for protected species," said Joe O'Keefe. ''We would always be willing to work with the Legislature on a responsible response to concerns of Boston residents." Sherris, a consultant who works from his house, said Maggie was sweet, curious, and loved children. She often perched in the window and stared outside. Now, Maggie is buried in the backyard, Sherris said, and reminders of the pet are everywhere. His daily routine, he said, has become difficult. His wife is afraid to go outside. Sherris said he is waiting to see what happens with the City Council before he takes action. ''The loss of this dog is just really gut-wrenching," he said. ''It's just not been easy."
By Heather Allen, Globe Correspondent | May 3, 2005
April 2005 Wilmington Massachusetts - Reported in the 'The Lowell Sun' Newspaper
Wilmington, MA - There are some things in life that not even 17 years as a prison guard and police officer can prepare you for. Wilmington Police Officer and former Concord prison guard Louis Martignetti found that out the hard way Saturday when a coyote attacked his daughter and then him while his family did yard-work at their home off Burlington Avenue. Martignetti, his wife, 7-year-old son, Gino, and 4-year-old daughter, Tia, were outside when the animal ran up and bit his daughter in the leg about 10 a.m. Martignetti, who was in his shed at the time, heard his wife's screams, but at first did not know what was going on. "She started screaming something like, Pick up the baby, pick up the baby,' but it happened so quick I didn't understand what she wanted me to do," he said. That's when he turned and saw a coyote lunge at his daughter, who only weighs about 28 pounds, and bite her in the leg. Full Story Here
It's only the second such recorded attack in Massachusetts; no such attacks are on record in R.I.
04:10 PM EST on Friday, February 18, 2005
The Associated Press
BARNSTABLE, MA - A Cape Cod woman who was bitten on her left hand is believed to be the first person ever attacked by a rabid coyote in Massachusetts, according to state wildlife officials. Cindy Parker-Kelley was attacked by a 45-pound female coyote in the back yard of her Marstons Mills home yesterday when she went to check on her Norwegian elkhound, Dakota. Her husband, David Kelley, beat the coyote with a piece of lumber, and police later killed it.
By Cristina Silva, Boston Globe Correspondent
Published July 14, 2005
SAUGUS, MA - Kathy Sullivan returned home last week to find a coyote chasing a neighbor's dog on her driveway. She beeped at the creature, but it just stopped and looked at her. Sullivan tried to continue driving, but the coyote wouldn't budge. Afraid that she was trapped in the car with her 2-year-old niece and 8-year-old daughter, Sullivan kept honking at the coyote until it finally crossed the street and ran up a nearby grassy hill, giving her enough time to run into the house with the children. ''I'm telling you, that thing was not afraid of me," Sullivan said yesterday. ''Somebody is going to end up getting hurt if they don't do something about this."
Portsmouth Herald - Seacoastonline.com, July, 12 2005
was over food apparently," Officer June Daley told the Cape Cod Times. "It did
break the skin on his leg, so he was treated for rabies as a precaution." Daley did
not disclose the guard's name. Earlier this year, a
was over food apparently," Officer June Daley told the Cape Cod Times. "It did
break the skin on his leg, so he was treated for rabies as a precaution." Daley did
not disclose the guard's name. Earlier this year, a
Beaver dams contaminating waterBy Mark E. Ellis Telegram & Gazette Staff
Sterling, MA - Contamination of town drinking water caused by an overflowing beaver pond may be a preview of more widespread water-quality problems. Unless the trapping restrictions are eased, state and local officials said yesterday. We have a growing concern about the burgeoning beaver populations, given the lack of natural predators and the prohibition imposed on trapping opportunities, said Joseph M. McGinn, director of watershed management for the Metropolitan District Commission. The population is certainly expanding by leaps and bounds. Because of the proliferation of beaver in the states major drinking water supplies, the MDC has implemented beaver tracking and eradication programs at Quabbin and Wachusett reservoirs, McGinn said. In Sterling, where E. coli contamination was discovered in the municipal water system last week, water tests indicated that coliform contamination remained present in minute amounts in recent test results. The most recent sampling was on Monday and of 12 samples, 10 . Please take a look at the article written by Louis Manning then Superintendent of Public Works for Sterling Mass. Written in 2002. click here
Dog is killed by coyote in Boston yard (back to top)
By Heather Allen, Boston Globe Correspondent
May 3, 2005
Boston, MA - In a quiet neighborhood atop a hill with groomed lawns and tulips in bloom, it was the last interruption anyone expected to the serene city setting. Late last Thursday, minutes after he let his dog outside, David Sherris responded to chirping behind his house in Jamaica Plain. He was horrified to see his beloved West Highland terrier, Maggie, in the mouth of a coyote. When Sherris approached the wild animal, it dropped the 18-pound dog and fled into the woods. The small bundle of white, shaggy hair, which Sherris described as part of the family, did not survive. ''The fact of the matter is that this is a residential area; this should not be happening," said Sherris in the home on Neillian Crescent that he shares with his wife and 14-month-old son. ''Additionally shocking is that it could have been my baby. It happened in less than five minutes."
Present: David Lindsay, Russ Karlstad, Tim Fiehler, Pat Bensetler, Cia Boynton, Jack Quinlan, Martha Remington, Betsy Cussen, Karen Augustine, Conservation Commission member
Bolton, MA - Karen Augustine, Conservation Commission member stated that the Conservation Commission has spent about $3,500 so far on the beaver situation. Initially the Conservation Commission sent Beaver Solution out and problem was mitigated for a while. With recent rain the level has risen. Ms. Augustine stated that the Conservation Commission can go back and try to extend the contract with Beaver Solutions. Mr. Quinlan took a walk through the area starting at the town park through path at Emerson School where Playground is all flooded. A number of saplings have been taken down by beavers. He continued walking down the cart path passed Emerson where there is a dam with a pipe which seems to be running pretty well. There are at least two beaver ponds and a giant beaver dam and he does not see a pipe there. He suggested a site walk be done. Mr. Quinlan strongly urged that beavers be taken out to eliminate the habitat. Tim Fiehler stated that the beaver fencing was installed and it does help to the extent that he does not have to go down every day to pull things out. The beavers are active and it looks as though they will be dropping some large trees behind the historical society building soon. The historic bridge has eroded away. Pat Bensetler suggested taking beavers out and then cleaning up the dams. Martha Remington, as a resident reiterated the need to get rid of the beavers so that the dams can be taken down. Cia Oschenbein agreed with what everyone has said. She feels we have gotten to this point because each year the water has gotten higher and higher and the runoff has created this huge problem. The bridge from sheep field to Emerson has huge holes in it again. Mr. Quinlan stated the immediate solution is to take the beaver dams down to draw the water level down to solve the problem of flooding the properties. The Board of Selectmen was favorable to the breaching of the dams with understanding that it would be coordinated with the Conservation Commission and the Board of Health.
To trap, or not to trap: Question lingers in light of beaver
By Chronicle Staff
Thursday, December 30, 2004
"[Beaver population growth] feels like a larger
issue than just a matter of not trapping," said Lash. "But you do have
to thin the herd, so to speak. If populations aren't thinned by man, we
can end up with all kinds of severe issues."
The CLA, according to Lash, has reluctantly accepted trapping in an outlet brook where beavers have, in the past few years, dammed Chebacco Lake and caused severe flooding and health problems for lakeside homeowners. "It's the only effective short-term management solution we know of," said Lash, who explained the CLA has been allowed to enlist the help of trappers using cages because of the ecologically valuable alewife fish that spawn in the outlet brook.
Certain water-flow devices, referred to by Jacobson, may discourage beavers from doing their work, but have been found to hinder alewife spawning, thus prompting a trapping alternative to the problem. The Chebacco Woods Trails Association has installed two of the so-called "beaver deceiver" contraptions between Beck's Pond and Chebacco Lake, and Lash is a bit leery of that strategy. "While it's a non-trapping solution, alewife have been known to spawn in Beck's Pond," said Lash, "which means we have a less than perfect solution there because it further shrinks adequate spawning areas for the alewife."
The International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies report concluded the 1996 no-trapping law in Massachusetts caused the beaver population to explode, thus creating economic hardships. Massachusetts municipalities spent $500,000 to repair road and infrastructure damaged by beavers in 2004, said the report, and IAFWA officials said that expenditure was "minor" compared to the costs associated with beaver-related personal property damage, contamination of public water supplies, flooding of private property and costs associated with removing nuisance beavers. Lash, however, sees the economic impact from a broader perspective. "To me, beavers are more than just a nuisance. In terms of the larger economy of New England, beavers don't have as great an impact as alewife," he said. "We should be giving far more attention to alewife because it helps sustain our marine fisheries industry."
At this time, noted Lash, there are beavers at Chebacco Lake's outlet brook, but they are not causing the severe problems encountered earlier. Still, he said added, the CLA is currently initiating contact with a trapper to use a cage that will help keep the population in check. The use of cage traps, according to Lash, does not require a permit from the Board of Health. Any property owner is allowed to enlist the aid of a cage trapper during the appropriate season. "We haven't had a big problem lately because there have been far fewer beavers," said Lash. "But if we were to ignore the situation, within a year we'd have a large colony and be back with same problems as we had a year ago."
The reason for Massachusetts' burgeoning beaver population, which has caused humans so many difficulties with flooding, especially on Chebacco Lake in Hamilton, is one not readily agreed upon. A recent report from the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies insists the state's 1996 law restricting the methods of trapping beavers has been followed by an explosion in their population and an increase in related damage to roads and personal property.Based on the projections included in the report, "Potential Costs of Losing Hunting and Trapping as Wildlife Management Tools," the problems will get worse unless trappers regain wider access to trapping devices. However, Cheryl Jacobson, coordinator of the Living with Wildlife program for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, has a different perspective. Calling the report incomplete and misleading, she noted, "Beaver populations were increasing before the 1996 law and studies indicate that beaver populations, if left untouched, will eventually regulate themselves because beavers are territorial and will not grow beyond available territory. Trapping is a Band-Aid solution." Jacobson further believes specially designed water-flow devices, some of which have been installed in Hamilton and Wenham, "work to alleviate beaver-related damage and provide assistance to landowners in a cost-effective and long-term manner." David Lash, former president of the Chebacco Lake Association (CLA) in Hamilton, feels Jacobson's perspective is more accurate, but doesn't dismiss the value of some trapping, specifically with cages instead of kill traps. J.J. Bowman, of the State House News Service, contributed to this story
Cat seriously injured after evading coyote; Attacks on household pets
are particularly common in spring, state expert says (back to top)
The Patriot Ledger - Joe McGee
April 30, 2004
Hanson MA - A 15-year-old cat that fell from a tree in Hanson after being chased by a coyote will probably be euthanized. Haley, a black shorthair belonging to Laura McColgan of Adams Circle, bolted up the tree yesterday morning to escape an adult coyote. It suffered serious injuries when it fell while trying to come down. Veterinarians at Roberts Animal Hospital in Hanover put the cat on intravenous fluids and pain medication and said surgery would be needed if Haley was to walk again. But McColgan said the operation would be too expensive, making euthanization likely. "It's just so sad," she said. "My daughter was crying."The state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife warns pet owners that coyotes give birth in the spring and are looking for food for their pups. Keeping small pets, such as cats and toy-breed dogs, indoors is strongly recommended. "Breeding season is January through March, and there is a 63-day gestation period, so they're having their pups now," said Chrissie Henner of the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. "We're receiving more calls about (coyote) litters under decks and porches." McColgan's 15-year-old son, Michael Calley, spotted the coyote at about 7 a.m. on his way to school. The animal was under the tree, waiting for the cat to come down. Although surprised by its size, Michael shooed the coyote away. "He started coming towards me," he said. "I had to make noise to get it away from me.""It was pretty big. It was tall and had a skinny face and nose and large tail. I've seen a little coyote before, but this one was big." When the coyote ran off, Michael and his mother tried to coax Haley into a clothes basket, but the cat couldn't make the leap. "I just thought, 'That poor cat,'" McColgan said. Adams Circle is close to the Hanover border, and near Harvey Circle, where packs of coyotes scared neighborhood residents two years ago. Although land is being cleared in the area, Henner discounted the notion that coyotes are being forced out of their habitat and into subdivisions. Like rats, raccoons and opossums, coyotes are scavengers that can survive in close proximity to humans, she said. "They do well around humans. They're highly adaptable." Police filed a report on the Adams Circle incident, but officers are allowed to shoot or remove a wild animal only if it is sick or injured. Police Lt. Richard Gredler said calls to the department about coyote sightings are more frequent at this time of year. Gredler said the calls aren't limited to the Hanover side of Hanson. Henner offered these suggestions to suburban residents who want to keep coyotes away: Keep trash barrels tightly covered. Don't put crumbs in the yard as bird food. Block openings to crawl spaces and the space under decks. Keep small pets inside at all times. If a coyote approaches, make loud noises; it should instinctively run away, Henner said. Joe McGee may be reached at email@example.com.
National Geographic News November 23, 2004 - Brian Handwerk
November's full moon, coming this Friday, is traditionally called the full beaver moon, because it signals the time to set traps for beavers before swamps freeze. A gentler interpretation of the name given to the November moon, according to the Farmers' Almanac, is that this is when busy beavers are feverishly preparing their dens for winter. Whatever the name's origin, the 2004 full beaver moon serves as a spotlight on North America's largest rodent. Harvested and driven from its habitat until it disappeared from much of the northeastern U.S., the beaver is now making such a strong comeback that it is becoming a nuisance in some areas. From the mid-1600s through the 1800s beaver trapping helped spur European exploration of North America. Beaver pelts became a prized commodity and were traded as currency in many parts of the frontier. Fortunes were made in their fur. Beavers were pursued so relentlessly that by the early 1900s many beaver populations were in trouble or wiped out. The situation was aggravated by the clearing of much of the beaver's habitat for agriculture. "In the 1930s they were at a low point," said beaver expert Dietland Mueller-Schwarze of the State University of New York's College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse. "But the latter half of the century has seen large growth in populatons all over North America." Multiple factors favored the beaver recovery. Federal and state authorities, supported by hunters and trappers, enacted sustainable harvesting regulations. Beavers were reintroduced into their former range throughout the northeastern U.S., where the decline of agriculture enabled them to thrive and expand. Meanwhile, plunging demand for pelts at home and abroad has reduced the number of trappers in the field. Some U.S. states have even banned trapping. Scott Hartman is the national director of membership and state affiliate relations for the National Trappers Association (NTA), which is based in Bedford, Indiana. He notes that the market for furs and pelts dropped precipitously in the mid-1980s and remained depressed until 2000. Since that time it has seen a slow recovery, but profits remain low for the time-intensive pursuit, which is still practiced by an estimated 150,000 U.S. fur trappers. The reduced trapping pressure has coincided with the longer-term reforestation of former farmlands. "With the reforestation of our state, the beaver population has rebounded," said wildlife biologist Peter Picone. Picone works for Connecticut's Department of Environmental Protection at the Burlington field office. "In 1800 Connecticut was 75 percent pasture. Today it is 57 percent forested and the [restored] forested habitat is prime for their recovery." But as beavers flourish and expand, their habitat is increasingly human habitat? and the two mammals often butt heads.
Beavers (Castor canadensis) can gnaw through a 6-inch (15-centimeter) tree in 15 minutes. A single busy beaver chews down hundreds of trees per year. The trees are used to build lodges and large dams that provide their aquatic habitat. Dams can range from 2 to 10 feet (2 to 3 meters) in height and stretch more than 100 feet (30 meters) in length. Streams and lakes are favorite stomping grounds, but water sources like farm ponds, wetlands, and other areas will do, as well. Picone notes that beavers are among Connecticutt's most problematic animals for humans, likely ranking just behind deer in terms of economic damage. Their tree-felling and large-scale flooding can damage timber and agricultural crops and wash out property and often roads. "Where humans and beavers can coexist, we encourage it," Picone said. "Beavers create great habitat for other animals. Wood duck, great blue heron, river otter? they all benefit from that habitat that beavers create." Other benefits include, ironically, flood control through water management, and water storage and purification. "Everybody sees the negative impact, Mueller-Schwarze said. "People remember the beaver that took down the cherry trees in the [Washington, D.C.] Tidal Basin. The positive effects are harder to see." The positives are real, but unfortunately for the beavers, so are the negatives. "The benefits have to be balanced with the damage [beavers cause] to people's property and with flooded roads," Picone said. "It's a tough balance."
Trapping: Cruelty or Conservation?
Solutions such as fencing off trees and installing free-flow water devices through dams can mitigate beaver problems and leave habitat intact. But reviews on their effectiveness are mixed. Another beaver control method is contested for both its results and its application - trapping. As trapping for valuable pelts has declined, nuisance-control trapping has grown. States like Connecticut and New York facilitate the process. "Here in New York they have a management plan where they want to keep the population limited to 20 or 30 percent of the available [habitat] sites along streams, with food and water, in areas where they won't do damage to human works," Mueller-Schwarze said. "The idea is that when the colony produces young beaver [who go off in search of their own turf], they will have a suitable place to go. Using the remaining 70 percent of those sites." The policy is managed by lethal trapping, though Mueller-Schwarze would prefer to see the animals relocated when possible. The Washington, D.C.-based Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) opposes lethal trapping. "We oppose the kinds of traps that drown these animals," said biologist John Hadidian, director of HSUS's Urban Wildlife Program. "We oppose the traps that crush them, those that are supposed to break their backs but often don't." Hadidian argues for better management methods that can help mitigate beaver problems and leave the animals in place with naturally determined numbers. "We understand that there are people who have trouble dealing with these conflicts, but we don't agree that they need to be lethally disposed of in order to solve these problems," he said. "Even if it was necessary, there are humane ways to do it. These devices that trap them and drown them are inhumane." NTA's Scott Hartman says that modern traps are a humane way of controlling beaver populations. He notes that in states like Massachusetts, where trapping has been banned, debate rages over the costs and impact, for good or ill, of the policy of not trapping beavers. "The animal rights folks have made it an emotional issue," he said. "They're dealing mainly with quality of death and we deal with quality of life. You can't stockpile wildlife, you can only have so many animals living in an area. When populations become too high you get disease and you have more animal-human conflict," he said. For some that conflict's bottom line is defined by dollars and sense. "It depends how tolerant the local people are," Mueller-Schwarze said of reactions he's seen to beavers in the neighborhood. "Some are excited and some are annoyed, and the same person may tip from one to the other if the damage gets worse. There was a Cornell University study some years ago that determined that the magic number was 400 [U.S.] dollars. People didn't mind up to that point, but after more damage was caused, they often wanted someone to 'take care' of the beavers," he said.
(back to top)
The Boston Globe
November 20, 2003
Matt Viser, Globe Correspondent
Bolton MA - It's become a fierce turf war between families. A $70,000 yard has been flooded; trees felled; 15 lives lost. But Ethan Harris says, by rights, he should emerge the victor. Unlike his neighbor, he pays property taxes - and he's not in the habit of gnawing on trees and building destructive dams. Yet for the past 2 1/2 years, Harris has had to think like the family of beavers that has set up camp near his Corn Road home. He tries to anticipate their every move, staying "glued to the weather" to see what they might do next, since they dam in the rain. Indeed, the beavers have wreaked havoc on Harris's property, washing out his yard and chomping down the trees that screen his view of nearby Interstate 495. The first incident was in April 2001, six months after he and his wife moved to Bolton to retire. Water gushed from a stream on town-owned conservation land that flows under I-495. His meticulously groomed front yard was transformed into a 3-foot-deep pond - so much for the $70,000 he had spent just months before for mulching, fencing, trees, and a stone driveway. "I was watching it from the front porch," Harris said. "It happened really quick, all of a sudden." After town officials declined to get involved, Harris obtained emergency permits that allowed him to do some of the work himself. With a sledgehammer, he busted the beavers' dam so that the water would drain from his yard. He also hired someone to kill the animals - 15, at a total cost of $1,500. This month, the beavers were back. Again the front yard was flooded, and it was left to Harris, with the help of his son, to destroy the dam. But about a dozen beavers remain. And rather than pay for someone to remove them, Harris wants the town to do something about it. "This is getting to be a real problem here," he said in an interview at his home. "I took care of things the first time with the notion that it would buy time for the town to figure out a more permanent solution. They never did anything about it." At Harris's prodding, the town has started to look into the issue, but it is unclear whether it will do anything. "Really, in a way, what the beavers are doing is a natural process. Maybe the people shouldn't be there," said Kenneth F. Troup, selectmen chairman. But Harris said town officials have an obligation to protect his land. "They do have the liability and responsibility not to flood people's property," he said. "And I can't afford to pay every three months for someone to come and get rid of the beavers. I pay taxes for that kind of stuff." At a recent meeting, the Board of Selectmen asked Carol Gumbart, the town's conservation administrator, to look into the issue and report back. Gumbart, in an interview this week, said she is calling other towns to see how they have tackled such problems. She is also getting price estimates from companies specializing in beaver removal. The beaver population has exploded over the past several years, particularly in rural towns like Bolton. State officials estimate that it has gone from 18,000 in 1995 to more than 65,000 today. The reason, they say, is a ballot initiative approved by voters in 1996 that prohibits certain traps, because they cause a slow, painful death. An amendment to the law, approved in 2000, allows local boards of health to grant emergency permits to residents to breach dams, fence off culvert openings, or use pipes to drain off ponds. Harris said if the town has not addressed his concerns within a few weeks, he will consider filing suit. "If I had beavers on my property and it was flooding my neighbor' s yard, you bet he'd be all over me," he said. "I'd be in court in two seconds flat." Matt Viser can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Paysha Stockton
April 3, 2003
Abbington MA - An aggressive fox attacked a dog, a woman, a bicycle and a police officer on Plymouth Street Monday night. Janice Abbatangelo was on her way into her home, at 825 Plymouth St., after grocery shopping when she was attacked at about 6:30 p.m., Abington Deputy Police Chief David Majenski said. When she first saw the strange-looking animal coming her way, she wasn't sure what it was, he said. She quickly realized it was an attacking fox. "She was quite frightened and jumped up on the hood of her car and called us on her cell phone," Majenski said. The fox got a grip on one of her legs with its jaws but was unable to bite through her thick pants, he said. The fox ran off after Abbatangelo hit it with one of her bags, Majenski said. She wasn't injured in the attack and was treated by firefighters at the scene, Majenski said. Police actually received another call about the fox a few minutes earlier, he said. "The fox was acting strangely throughout the neighborhood," he said. It previously tried to fight a dog. "It was a fox with a bad attitude. It was totally looking for a fight," Majenski said. Police found the animal in the woman's cellar. It was nipping at a bicycle tire. It then came after officer Kevin Sullivan, who shot it, Majenski said. "He killed it with one shot." Abington's animal control officer took the carcass away to be tested for rabies, he said. With spring here and the weather warming, people should watch out for foxes, raccoons, coyotes and skunks behaving strangely, Majenski said. "If they're near people, that's not normal," he said. Paysha Stockton may be reached at email@example.com.
Hull, MA - After nearly a year of sightings with few attacks, a coyote carried off and killed a 25-pound dog this week. Hull Animal Control Officer Megan Hanrahan said King, a 12-year-old Pekinese, was snatched off the porch of Joan Thompson's Summit Avenue house on Tuesday. "When the fall and winter comes, food starts getting scarce for them," Hanrahan said. The dog had been attacked previously, about nine months ago. Thompson said King was let out at about 7:20 p.m. Tuesday. A family member couldn't react quickly enough when the coyote grabbed the dog by the throat. King was only about five feet from the back door, Thompson said. Family members scoured the neighborhood and spotted the coyote on a hill less than a half-mile away, but it was not carrying the dog. The coyote ran away. Thompson said the family found King dead the next morning in the back yard of a neighbor several houses away. "We searched and searched, because we didn't want him to be out there somewhere hurt," Thompson said. "Megan (Hanrahan) told us that she didn't think he felt any pain." In June 2001, a 12-year-old, 17-pound poodle needed 12 metal staples in her back after a battle with two coyotes in the back yard of her Atlantic Avenue home. Earlier last year, a 9-pound terrier was carried away and killed by a coyote that witnesses estimated weighed 55 pounds. A trapper hired to hunt the coyote caught and euthanized a 40-pound coyote suspected to be the terrier's killer. The coyote that killed King is believed to be about the same size. "What is going to happen come winter when there's no food? Are the coyotes going to come up on my porch when I bring my granddaughter out," Thompson said. Hanrahan said the town is "doing everything in our legal power" to capture wild coyotes. She said coyote hunting season is from Nov. 1 to Feb. 28. Only trapping is allowed during November, however, and though shooting is allowed by December, it's illegal to discharge a firearm within 2,000 feet of a dwelling in Hull. "Towns don't want you shooting in town, and the coyotes aren't going to go in the traps. I've been trapping for 50 years and you might catch a gray fox, but coyotes are too smart," said Fred Frazier, a hunter and trapper trying to help the town. Frazier said the best way to eliminate the coyote problem is to allow trappers to use the soft leg-hold traps that were banned in 1996. "The best thing residents can do is call your state senator or representative and get that law changed," he said. Frazier said from the signs he has observed, he estimates five coyotes are roaming the town. Hanrahan said coyotes have been seen and have built dens in the area of Summit Avenue, Atlantic Avenue and School Street. A lot of house cats are missing, too, she said. "Wild cats are smart, they see the coyotes coming and get out of the way. House cats, who often grow up with dogs, don't know enough and are the ones who get caught," Hanrahan said. Hanrahan said residents also could be reacting improperly when they encounter coyotes. "Don't run away from them. They'll only chase you, and it gives them the impression the neighborhood is theirs," she said. "Yell, clap your hands. If there's a hose, squirt them with the hose. Do anything you can to scare them." L.E. Campenella may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Weymouth MA - I'm a handicapped senior citizen from East Weymouth and recently we have had three pets killed by coyotes on our street alone. I'm sure there are many unreported cases, too. A pug dog, a beautiful elderly Golden Retriever and my 13-year-old pet cat have been brutally attacked from their own yards and killed. I've also heard of toddlers and their moms attacked defending them. Because there was a question of rabies, they had to endure extensive treatment. Is it going to take the death of a child before something is done? Karen Wilbur, Weymouth
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The Patriot Ledger - Anne Trafton
July 24, 2002
Duxbury MA - - Coyotes attacked and fatally injured a Duxbury family's cocker spaniel early Sunday morning, police said. The dog's owners, whom police would not identify, let the cocker spaniel outside around 4 a.m. Sunday. Three coyotes attacked the dog in the family's Maple Pond Lane driveway. Upon hearing the sounds of the attack, family members turned on outdoor lights, sending the coyotes fleeing, said Duxbury police Lt. Lewis Chubb. The dog was taken to Roberts Animal Hospital in Hanover, where it later died from its injuries. It is not unusual for coyotes to hunt small animals like cats and small dogs, said Richard Turner, a wildlife biologist for the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. "A small dog wouldn't stand much chance against them," he said. Coyotes are very common in southeastern Massachusetts, Turner said. "It really is amazing what close proximity they live in with human activity," he said. Several cats have disappeared in Duxbury over the past few years, and they may have been eaten by coyotes, Chubb said. He said he could not recall any other cases of coyotes killing a dog. Turner suggested that pet owners who want to keep coyotes away should be sure to not leave anything in their yards - food and compost heaps, for example - that might attract the predators. Food attracts not only coyotes but also small mammals like rabbits and squirrels that could draw coyotes into the yard. Turner advised pet owners not to feed their pets outside unless all of the food will be eaten immediately; leftovers could attract coyotes. Because coyotes can eat so many different things, including small mammals, birds, vegetables, berries and trash, they are well suited to suburban environments. Coyote pups are born in April and May, so parents are hunting not only to feed themselves but also their young. "These coyotes have got to be hunting hard to get enough food to feed the entire family," Turner said. He said a good way to scare coyotes away from yards is to "show authority" by making a lot of noise and throwing things at the coyotes. Coyotes rarely carry rabies, but Turner warned that people, especially children, should stay away from any animal that might be rabid. Anne Trafton may be reached at email@example.com.
Roads, backyards, trails being flooded
By Coco McCabe Globe Correspondent December 31, 2001
Ipswich MA - A pond, some gently flowing water, tall pines, fruit trees sounds like a nice place to set up house. Paul and Josephine Brouillette thought so when they bought the parcel on Essex Road in Ipswich next to Norman Pond. But others had designs on the same place: beavers. Since the rodents moved in, they have been busy staking out their turf with a dam an rising water levels that are turning portions of backyards (including the Brouillettes) into wetlands, soaking nearby Heartbreak Road like a sponge, and transforming a horse paddock into a puddle of goo. Its like having a big toilet that doesnt flush. After a while it get ugly, said Neil St. John Ted Raymond, who lives on Heartbreak Road. Its adversely affecting the value of peoples property. Beavers, it seems are everywhere. Across town, water is creeping toward John Barowys hay field from the dam beavers built on the Miles River in the past couple of months. Not far away, in Hamilton, workers recently replaced a bridge on Moulton Street where beavers repeatedly clogged the flow of water. Member of the Essex County Trail Association, which promotes trail preservation in Essex, Wenham, Topsfield, Ipswich, and Hamilton, are worrying about keeping some of their connecting trails open now that beavers have started to flood them. And Elizabeth Brown, who lives on Farrington Lane in Hamilton near the Miles River, has watched her evergreens topple and puddles appear in the woods from beavers raising the level of water in the marsh nearby .
TRAP BAN GIVES BEAVERS THE RUN OF RURAL TOWNS FLOODS, CONTAMINATED WATER
BLAMED ON A 1996 STATE LAW
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Boston Globe - Boston, Mass.
Author: Richard Higgins, Globe Staff
Date: May 7, 2000
Start Page: B.1
Text Word Count: 1180
Abstract (Document Summary)
TEMPLETON - Every day when she gets home from work, Frances Yackowski removes the sticks and logs that beavers stack every night to dam a brook under her driveway. Diligence is a must, Yackowski said, to prevent another washout of her long, dirt driveway. Under it, Norcross Brook runs through a culvert. Last month, beavers dammed the pipe, flooding her property. She had no vehicle access to her house for four days. Like many people who live in rural Massachusetts, Yackowski, a second-grade teacher who calls herself a nature lover and conservationist, blames her problems on the 1996 passage of a state ban on body-gripping and leg-hold animal traps.
Boy, 3 is rescued; Questions raised
by Bruce Mohl, Globe Staff July 31, 1998
SANDWICH, MA A coyote sprang from the woods and attacked a 3-year old boy Wednesday evening as he played on his back yard swing set here, the first documented case of a coyote attacking a human in Massachusetts and one of only a dozen cases nationwide. The boy was rescued when his mother kicked and punched the coyote, wresting her bleeding son from its clutches. The animal then began growling at the boys 5-year old sister, who was at the top of the swing set, before police officers arrived and killed it. Daniel Neal was treated and released early yesterday at Childrens Hospital in Boston for bites to the head, arm, chest and back. As a precaution, he was given the first battery of shots for rabies.
Rouge River Valley, NJ - May 17, 2007
Kevin Hill Staff Writer
First, Janice Palis stopped to admire the three coyotes peeking through the brush at her and her 10-year-old golden retriever, Duke. Then, there was no time to think at all. The animals descended on the 95-pound dog as he stood 6 feet away from Palis. In the frenzy, Palis grabbed the first stick she could find, waved it in the air and shouted at the coyotes. They backed off, she said, but didnt retreat very far. Thats what I think was the scariest part for meis that they didnt seem to have the fear of me or him, she said. The incident occurred May 8 in the Koppernick section of the William P. Holliday Nature Preserve. In March, a coyote attacked a poodle in the backyard of a Westland home near Hines Park. That case was different from the attack on Duke, said William Craig, president of the citizen-run Holliday Nature Preserve Association. Coyotes going into your backyard is another thing. That is a matter of citizens and their local government, he said. There is no prohibition against bringing dogs into the Holliday Nature Preserve. Wayne County, which owns and oversees the land as part of the parks system, is currently studying its rules and regulations. Vanessa Denha-Garmo, a county spokesperson, urged caution when entering the preserve. Weve been telling people to stay in a well-lit area and in open areas of the park, and to keep your dog on a leash. Craig said a leash is a good idea, but not bringing dogs at all is an even better one as coyotes multiply in the area. It just warrants some caution under those circumstances, he said. Palis, who said the beauty of the preserve made it her favorite place to walk Duke for the past eight years, never thought she had a reason to fear. I have seen coyotes in the past, but nothing thats come close to challenging us, scaring us, she said. From a distance, and typically when Ive seen them its rare and its beautiful, and then theyre off, theyre gone. Not this time, though. Palis said she and Duke had walked 200 yards into the woods from an entrance to the preserve in Canton Township. After the attack, she said, the coyotes stalked her and a limping Duke all the way back to the car. Duke was recovering nicely this week, taking longer and longer walks through the friendlier environs of the Fox Run subdivision in Canton. On Monday, he dozed in the living room as Palis recalled once seeing Brownie troops in the preserve. Would it attack a child? If someone were small, trailing to pick something up? she asked. I was in a nature preserve. So, I understand Im in a special area. But still, if its not safe, thats an issue. I would love to go back, but right now Im not going to, she said. I dont know. I mean, I want to, just because I love it there so much.
Posted by the Associated Press April 12, 2007
Wildlife officials are investigating what could be the first coyote attack on a human in New Jersey following a backyard attack on a toddler that was foiled by an 11-year-old. Playing in the back yard of his Middle Township home with his 22-month-old nephew over the weekend, 11-year-old Ryan Palludan first thought the animal that bolted into the yard just before dark was a deer. But when it grabbed little Liam Sadler in its jaws, Palludan instinctively sprang into action, yelling and kicking at the attacker which was later determined to be a coyote.
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