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Should You Be Scared of the Malden Coyote?

PLUS: Did you snag a photo of the elusive coyote? Share it with other readers by adding it to our online gallery of Malden's own Wile E.

Have a picture of the Linden coyote? Join the conversation and share it with your neighbors by uploading it to the photo gallery above.  

A coyote spooked parents near Linden School Friday morning, but a secretary at the school confirmed police responded to the scene and students were never in danger.

Recess ended a few minutes early that morning after parents reported spotting the creature, she said. 

Animal Control Officer Kevin Alkins was not immediately available for comment Friday afternoon, but told WCVB news that the animal appeared injured and was not a major threat to safety

"He hasnt shown any displays of aggression," he said. "...If anything he seems a bit timid." 

Police officers will be on hand to provide extra protection during student drop-off and pick-up periods this Monday and Tuesday, the school told parents. 

 

Should we freak out? 

Not really. Attacks by coyotes are extremely rare: only about 160 attacks were recorded from 1976-2006, at a rate never exceeding 12 attacks a year. 

Only one coyote attack in that period - on a 3-year-old girl playing in her front yard in Glendale, California in 1981 - was fatal. In contrast, an average of 73 people die from lightning in the United States each year alone. 

Still, residents have reason to exercise some caution. Like any wild animal, coyotes can also exhibit unpredictable behavior and carry a variety of diseases, including rabies. Though rare, attacks typically occur when humans approach a coyote themselves, usually to feed them. 

Residents should keep an eye on any outdoor pets, who have a much greater risk of a coyote attack. Both pets and small children are more likely to be attacked when unaccompanied by an adult. 

 

Witnesses weigh in: 

Witnesses said the coyote appeared injured. 

"I was face to face with it this morning," Andrea Raduazzo wrote on Facebook. "It is big and scary looking. He did just turn and limp away (but) my main concern is that a little kid would think it was a hut dog and try to pet or 'help' it."

"Had a bad leg," @linuxlibrarian observed on Twitter. "It was hard to tell if it favored the front or back more. Walked very gingerly on one side. Was very mobile tho(ugh).

"Was also very calm. Wasn't spooked when I was on the porch trying to reconcile what I was seeing, but definitely alert and aware," he added. 

J.longbow October 22, 2012 at 11:58 PM
Hey Mokal hows it goin? didnt buy the trailer yet? Fear not I heard tripod saw the pair of chuck taylors hangin from the wires and panicked. Knew he was on the wrong side of the street and fled back to N.Revere where it was safer. Tripod probably has a lot of relatives in Maine.
david mokal October 23, 2012 at 12:11 AM
Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! No Im goin for a tree house now. Much safer. my daughter lives in North Revere and she sees them all the time as well. Maybe Ill get a lil Airstream Trailer and put it on stilts. Ya know them lil silver bullet lookin ones. I dont want to run into Tripod they say he's nasty. Im gonna electrify my fence tommoro.
david mokal October 23, 2012 at 12:13 AM
Oh J I just seen AFLACK walkin down my street and he looks like he's packin. LOL
J.longbow October 23, 2012 at 12:22 AM
At this rate they're gonna need to hire another animal control officer. Lets see if either candidate mentions tripod the celebrity tonight. Doesnt the city have a professional photographer? Id much rather some glossy prints than these grainy pics
Don October 23, 2012 at 10:18 AM
AFLACK does bite, saw it on one of those commercials. Hey Mike G, bend over.

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