As a densely populated urban area, it might not seem like Chelsea would have much of a problem with rampant wildlife within the city limits.
But like many other urban areas in the state, the number of coyote sightings and complaints in Chelsea have been on the upswing.
Recently, Ward 1 City Councillor Todd Taylor requested that City Manager Thomas Ambrosino look at ways the coyote control problem can be addressed in Chelsea at both the local and state level.
“As of late, I have had several calls regarding coyotes in Prattville, and residents have been texting me pictures of coyotes out during the day,” said Taylor. “This is not just at night, this is coyotes wandering around people’s lawns. One of my friends who lives up on Kimball sent me a picture; he’s got two small kids and would hate to have them totter out and meet a hungry coyote.”
Taylor said he’s not sure exactly what can be done about the situation, but added he would like the City Manager to investigate it. He said he would like to see not just what can be done to remove coyotes, but steps that can be taken to mitigate the problem.
“I know one of the neighbors said they put down mothballs and said they saw less of the coyotes after that,” said Taylor.
He asked if there were any instructions that can be given to residents to help them deal with the issue.
Taylor said he has also heard of people feeding the coyotes and asked if there were laws against people feeding them.
“All of this needs to be addressed in some kind of public manner, either in a meeting or putting up some material on the city’s social media and having the animal control officer engage with the community,” said Taylor.
Following Taylor’s inquiry, the city did post tips for dealing with coyotes on its website.
Some of the tips include not feeding or trying to pet coyotes, securing garbage, keeping bird feeder areas clean, closing off crawl spaces, cutting back brushy areas, and protecting livestock and produce.
In addition, it states that coyotes can be threatened by bright lights, loud noises, and water from hoses.
Anyone experiencing problems with coyotes can also contact the state wildlife department at mass.gov/Masswildlife.