Massachusetts Police Hunt for 'Aggressive' Coyote That Has Bitten Two People

A police department in Massachusetts is hunting for an "aggressive coyote" believed to have targeted multiple residents in recent days.

A search for the animal was launched on Saturday amid reports the animal had bitten at least two people in the town of Stoneham since last Thursday. It appears to have been prowling an area close to Stoneham Oaks Golf Course and Stoneham Arena.

Authorities have said the coyote is believed to be dangerous and have urged the public to avoid contact, noting the attacks are believed to be tied to a single animal.

Stoneham Police chief James McIntyre said: "This animal is clearly aggressive, and we urge residents to please be aware of this situation and report any sightings of this coyote to us promptly. Above all else, please stay far away from this animal."

As officials scour the area in an attempt to locate and capture the wild coyote, multiple reports suggested it has been involved in a series of encounters with humans.

On Saturday, a woman sought medical help for minor injuries after being bitten by a coyote in the Stoneham Arena parking lot around 5:30 p.m.
"There was a lady last night that caught her in the back of leg, broke skin, so she had to go to the hospital," said Animal Control Officer Brian Johnston, who is involved with the search for the animal, which if caught will be euthanized and tested for rabies.

Two incidents were also reported two days earlier. At approximately 8 p.m. on Thursday a man said that he had been bitten on the back of his shoe close to the Stoneham Arena, but the animal's teeth did not puncture through and he did not sustain any injuries.

Roughly one hour later, a coyote approached a man at a nearby business, Extra Space Storage. The victim reported it had tugged on his leg but did not bite, police said.

'It doesn't run away'

Johnston said most coyotes avoid contact with humans and are easily scared by loud noises and bright lights, but described this one as being "bold."

"This one's just unusual; it's very people friendly," Johnston said while speaking to local media outlet WBZ-TV yesterday. "It doesn't run away. What they described to me is that it'll back up about three to four feet, just stand and stare and then just saunter off."

The police department said in a media statement on Sunday that an initial search for the coyote Saturday night had not been successful, but efforts would continue. Stoneham Oaks Golf Course, which is behind the arena, was temporarily closed.

Residents are urged not to approach any local wildlife, including coyotes and foxes. "Do not leave food outside, as coyotes may be attracted to it," Stoneham police said.

Stock: Coyote Roaming A Suburb Street
Stock photo: Coyote roaming a suburb street. A police department in Massachusetts is hunting for an “aggressive coyote” believed to have targeted multiple residents in recent days. iStock