PLUM ISLAND – With its cool sea breezes and picturesque beaches, many people like to spend their summers out on Plum Island and so it seems, do coyotes.
According to a recent notice from the City of Newburyport Animal Control Officer Matthew Lipinski, island residents are being warned that there have been multiple reported sightings of the critters out on the Island. The city is warning that residents should take precautions.
The Newburyport Health Department notice recommends residents avoid making physical contact with or provide food for the animals. If a coyote is spotted, residents should make sure all their animals are safe and secured, and to make loud noises to scare the coyote off if it comes too close.
Any garbage that is stored outside should be properly secured. Pets should be kept on a leash while outdoors and fed inside while yards and bird feeding areas should be kept clean. The notice also warns that, due to their size, cats and small dogs make easy prey.
Coyotes can often be found in areas within close proximity of humans. They can be seen individually, in pairs, or in small groups where food is around.
According to the Newbury Animal Control Officer Carol Larocque, coyote sightings in the area are not that uncommon.
“What’s happened is, there are so many of them that they are actually born here around us,” said Larocque. “So they get used to the traffic and the people because the young are brought up that way. There are also a lot of foxes on the island.”
Larocque said that residents of the area are used to spotting coyotes or foxes on occasion, but those visiting may be alarmed.
“They just go up the road,” Larocque said of how these creatures find themselves in the middle of a hot tourist spot. “Sometimes early in the morning, I’ve even seen them early in the day, walking along the Newburyport Turnpike.”