February is mating season for coyotes in Massachusetts, and that's why you're probably seeing more of them around. This is the month that the coyotes are most active, before building their dens in March for the females to give birth in April.

This past week, there was a handful of coyotes, large and small, spotted all over the town of Fairhaven. Christine Branchaud Vertente was doing her normal morning routine this week and walked out of her house and found a giant coyote in her front yard. Without naming streets, this is right in the village area of town.

Christine Branchaud Vertente/Facebbok
Christine Branchaud Vertente/Facebook

Another even larger coyote was seen inside the playground at the old Roger's School in Fairhaven Village just roaming around with no fear of humans walking or driving by.

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Okay I can’t even handle this handsome little stud. I mean look at him! Lately in the Chicagoland area there’s been lots of talk about coyotes. Unfortunately it wasn’t the kind of talk that hyped them up since a young boy happened to bitten by a wild coyote. People started to get in a panic about these animals. A creature that has been here along and will continue to do so. It’s unfortunate that kid was bitten however, let me explain the situation. When this coyote was spotted, it was injured. When it was finally caught, X-Rays showed it had been shot with a BB gun. Now this is speculation, but if that coyote happened to be strolling through someone’s yard and they shot it out of fear, then that animal most likely ran away and eventually stopped somewhere where it felt safe to get its composure together. If that kid walked up to that coyote (probably thinking it was just a dog) during this already stressful situation, then the coyote bit out of fear. Coyotes see humans as predators and they will bite in order to protect themselves if they can’t run away. It’s called Fight or Flight. Coyotes do not just go up to people and bite them. They are much more scared of people than we should be of them. Coyotes are noticeably a bit more used to human contact these days but that’s because of all the development. They really have no other choice but to try and coexist with us. However this still doesn’t mean they’re going to just walk up to you. If you happen to see one, they will keep their distance, but if you feel nervous about it being near you, your child, or your small pets: YELL, STOMP, BE LOUD, CHARGE THEM, they will most definitely run away from you. It’s our own fault that these animals are running out of places to go. I think the least we can do is try to coexist with them, learn about them, and learn how to manage living near them. If you have small pets, please watch them. Leash them. It’s your responsibility to protect your pet. If you really wish to keep your dog outside, build a kennel with fencing on the ground AND on top. Our wildlife isn’t going anywhere and quite frankly we shouldn’t want it to go anywhere. #Montana #coyotes #coyote #wildlife

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While some people who have commented on Christine's post (found on the Hometown Fairhaven Facebook page) are afraid for themselves, their cats, dogs, and kids, other people are afraid for the coyotes and asking that people please not hurt them, saying that they mean no harm.

If you ever come in contact with a coyote while walking your dog, I found a great article on the website UrbanCoyoteInitiative.com, on what to do before freaking out.

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