We heard tell earlier this year of some darned big coyotes prowling around Wellesley — almost wolf-like creatures — that resulted in someone from a nearby town being called in to take care of business.
More recently, Wellesley Animal Control Officer Sue Webb was speaking at a Rotary Club of Wellesley meeting and touched on the topic of coyote-wolf hybrids (See a recent explainer in National Geographic here and more from the State Division of Fisheries and Wildlife ). I wasn’t at the meeting but did ask Webb for the latest on this topic, as relates to Wellesley.
She writes that “The eastern coyote has some wolf genetics from way back (many many generations ago), so they are larger than the western coyote. I fear the information has people thinking they are half wolf/half coyote, which is not the case. A 40-pound coyote is bigger than his western cousin. People see the long legs and think they are german shepherd size so must be 90-100 pounds. They have the height of a Labrador but not the body mass under that fur.
“They are a skittish animal and people can keep them that way by yelling and banging things to scare them when they see them. If the animals feel they are a safe distance away they may stand and look to see if the danger is coming toward them. Throwing something into their flight zone will make them run off.
“If people ignore them or walk away or go inside it gives the animals the message not to fear people. We want people to make them feel unwelcome so they remain skittish and avoid people.”