Coyote, found injured in Dorchester, put down

By Stefanie Geisler
Globe Correspondent / February 4, 2010

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A severely injured coyote was tranquilized and then euthanized yesterday morning after it was spotted limping through the streets of Dorchester, authorities said.

Boston Animal Control received a report of an injured coyote running through backyards on Hartford Street about 8:30 a.m. yesterday. The coyote was later found in a yard behind 100 Wayland St., a short distance from the original sighting.

A veterinarian from the Franklin Park Zoo was called to the scene and was able to tranquilize the male coyote. Because of the severity of the injury, the animal was then euthanized, an animal control official said.

Charles Rudack, director of Boston Animal Control, said coyote sightings are increasingly common in the city.

“In the last three weeks, we’ve probably had anywhere between three to eight calls per day for coyotes,’’ Rudack said.

He said the increase is due in part to the time of year. The animals’ breeding season is from January to March, and they tend to be more visible then, he said.

Rudack said the euthanized coyote may have been struck by a car, resulting in an injury that left its hind leg dragging. The animal’s carcass will be taken to the state lab in Jamaica Plain, where it will be tested for rabies. The coyote was not reported to have come in contact with any people.

Rudack urged people to be on the lookout for coyotes and other creatures.

“Stay clear of all wildlife, whether it be coyotes, raccoons, possums, whatever,’’ Rudack advised. “They might look nice, but they’re unpredictable. Appreciate them from a distance.’’

Rudack said people should also remember to leash their dogs.

“Oftentimes, if an animal comes in contact with the wildlife, it’s because [the pet] is off leash,’’ he said. “Had the dogs been on leash, they wouldn’t have come in contact.’’