National Park officials again plead for people NOT to feel wild animals after aggressive coyote has to be put down

A sign warns visitors at Herring Cove Beach in Provincetown of the presence of coyotes.
Tim Caldwell/CWN

WELLFLEET – Park rangers recently had to shoot and kill a coyote who was displaying aggressive behavior toward people and pets near Herring Cove Beach parking lot in Provincetown after repeatedly being fed by people. The feeding led to the coyote becoming habituated to humans and food. Rangers attempted to haze the coyote over several days in an attempt to move the coyote away from people and the parking lot. The coyote continued to exhibit aggressive behavior such as stalking a visitor with a dog and snatching items from people.

This entire scenario was avoidable. Coyotes are naturally fearful of humans. Feeding wild animals leads to them becoming habituated and aggressive in attempts to gain food. It might seem like benign feeding at first, but the coyote will eventually “ask” for more food, and then “demand” it aggressively — “biting the hand that feeds it.”

If you encounter a coyote, make and keep eye contact with the animal, always have your pet on a leash and pick up smaller dogs, and make some noise. Yell, wave your arms, or throw something at the coyote to get it away.

Visitors are reminded to NEVER feed or touch wildlife in the park. Feeding wildlife is illegal and subject to a citation (36CFR 2.2(a)(2)) and is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000.
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