Brookline officials are trying to determine the cause of death of a coyote found dead in the backyard of a home in the Corey Hill neighborhood last week.The neighborhood near Coolidge Corner has been a hotbed for coyote sightings in recent months and Brookline Public Health Director Alan Balsam said the dead animal was reported last Tuesday by a homeowner on Summit Avenue.
Balsam said the coyote had no visible signs of trauma, but he doesn’t know if anything untoward led to the animal’s death or if it was from natural causes.
Results of a test for rabies came back negative on Friday, and Balsam said the town is now awaiting the results of a necropsy to determine the cause of death. He said he’s hoping the results will be back by the end of the week.
The dead coyote was found less than a week after the town launched an online tracking tool allowing residents to report the location of coyote sightings in the town. Since website launched Feb. 10, Balsam said about 15 coyote sightings have been reported.
Residents of the Corey Hill neighborhood have been saying since last fall that they suspect coyotes are to blame for several pets that have gone missing and some parents are worried about their children playing outdoors. The neighborhood has appealed to officials for help, but the town has said there is little it can do because of a state law that prevents the use of effective traps to catch coyotes.
Balsam said last week that the town is working to set up a meeting with the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife to hash out exactly what the threshold of coyote activity is before the town can take action.