Coyote Pack Surrounds Woman and Her Dog

By author of The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

Husband comes to the rescue with a broom; experts say predators were unusually bold

Despite his intimidating bark and large size, a German shepherd / rottweiler mix named Storm was unable to scare away a pack of coyotes that surrounded him and his owner last week. Dianne Andre and her husband, Keith, had just returned to their Southborough, Massachusetts, home when the coyotes approached.

"All of the sudden, out of nowhere, three or four coyotes started to literally circle us," Dianne said. "Their eyes, I mean all of them, just looking at you, like, we got you."

When he saw the coyotes, Keith grabbed a broom from the garage. "It was the first thing I could find to try to hit them," he said. 

When he yelled and threated the coyotes with the broom, they retreated into the woods.

Wildlife experts say the coyotes' bold behavior is unusual.

According to Wickedlocal.com, Marion Larson, chief of information and education for Massachusetts Wildlife, said typically a human being present with a dog is enough to scare coyotes.

“In most cases, when you’re in your yard with your dog, the human’s presence is usually a deterrent,” Lawson said. “This incident is a little bit more concerning. The good news is when her husband came out with the broom and hollered and yelled, they took off, and that’s a good thing.”

Larson said it's the end of breeding season so coyotes are a bit more active than usual. They're still searching for mates or trying to find a safe den location. She said the coyotes may have seen the large dog as a threat, or they could be trying to make a den near the yard.

She recommends people not let their dogs or cats outside unsupervised because large dogs are seen as a threat, while smaller dogs and cats can be viewed as food. She also suggests feeding pets indoors and never leaving food out overnight, because it can attract coyotes.

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