The residents of High Street have brought forth the problem of coyotes regularly roaming their neighborhood and Council President Anthony Zambuto is moving the issue closer to a resolution.
Zambuto, who lives in the neighborhood, said he is exploring the possibility of hiring a professional coyote relocator to rid the area of the coyotes who have brought fear to area residents with their unwelcomed presence.
“We’re exploring the hiring of a professional coyote relocator,” said Zambuto. “I’m collaborating on this plan with neighbors. We are exploring all options.”
Zambuto has witnessed the coyotes’ presence first-hand. “The coyotes think they own the street,” he said. “They come parading down the street five or six in a pack. It’s crazy and it has to stop. We can’t allow a baby or another animal to get seriously hurt. We don’t want to be like other communities that have had situations like that.”
Mayor Brian Arrigo has been closely monitoring the situation on High Street. He has been in touch with officials from the state wildlife office.
“When my office was initially alerted of the coyotes in the High Street neighborhood, we reached out to the State to come up with a solution,” said Arrigo. “Unfortunately, because coyotes are considered a protected species, we have to be creative in our approach. Over the last year, the Revere DPW has made efforts to clean up coyote breeding areas to potentially steer them away from the neighborhoods of Revere. Clearly, the city is in a tough spot navigating protected species protocols and ensuring our residents feel safe. I applaud Council President Zambuto for bringing this to the attention of the Revere City Council and for the residents who are creatively collaborating on a solution to the problem at hand.”
Dave Wattles, a biologist and an expert on wildlife management at the State Wildlife Office, said he has conferred with High Street neighbors about the coyote situation.
Wattles provided neighbors with the proper steps to take to limit coyote activity in the area. Some of those steps include blowing an airhorn, banging pots and pans, spraying a hose, and the tossing of small stones “to frighten the coyote off.”
“This situation in Revere isn’t unusual,” said Wattles. “It’s the same situation that is happening in West Roxbury and Cambridge. A month ago there were three children that were bitten in Arlington. There are limited resources that we have to actually remove these animals in these circumstances.”
Wattles said there are statewide legal restrictions on what neighbors can do to rid their neighborhood of the coyotes. Though there are legal hunting seasons in the state, realistically there is no “huntable land” in Revere.
“Legally, to hunt in Massachusetts you have to be 500 feet from an occupied dwelling 150 feet from a paved road,” said Wattles. “The logistics are that there’s almost nowhere in a place like Revere where you can hunt.”
Wattles said one of the options for the neighbors is to hire a problem animal control agent – which is basically what Council President Zambuto is proposing.
Neighbors have reached out to city officials and media in recent weeks to make people aware of the “unsafe” coyote situation that has existed on High Street for the past few years.
One neighbor cited a situation where, upon her return home by car with a young child in the backseat, she had to call for a police escort because several coyotes had congregated outside her home. The Revere Police responded quickly and provide safe passage for the resident and the child into the house.
“Is this any way a person wants to live up here?” asked a neighbor. “The coyotes are out here at all hours of the day.”
“The coyotes are getting too comfortable with their surroundings right now and they’re not afraid of the surroundings and they’re not afraid of people either, on the street,” said another neighbor. “That comfort zone is what’s going to cause them to be aggressive for little kids.”
There is a City Council meeting Monday night, so High Street’s continuing coyote problem could be up for discussion, with a resolution in sight.