Coyote Sightings on Campus

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Long walks, sometimes unreliable shuttles, and now coyotes? The list of grievances of life in the Quad got a little bit longer after coyotes were spotted on the frequently trodden path between the Radcliffe Quadrangle and the Yard.

"We've had coyotes in the city for a while now," said Christina Correia of the Cambridge Animal Commission. "Recently we've had sightings of them living in the cemeteries, both Mt. Auburn and Cambridge, but they keep a territory of between two and thirty miles, so really they could be seen anywhere in the area."

Urban coyotes are no new phenomenon in these parts. In fact, the only parts of Massachusetts that have not had any coyote sightings are Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard.

Coyotes weigh between 33 and 47 pounds and are generally no danger to humans but can be deadly for pets and a nuisance for garbage workers. While they may not pose problems for most Harvard students, they may be a threat to late night wanderers who may accidently impose on the coyote's personal space. They are primarily nocturnal and generally move in small groups opportunistically looking for food.

Combined with the increased levels of violence this year, the coyotes serve as another incentive for people to continue to take advantage of the Harvard shuttle service late at night. For those who walk, traveling in pairs should reduce the risk of encountering the beast that has almost single-handedly kept the Canada geese population at bay.

Coyotes may look like dogs, and in fact they are canines, but they're less cute than their domestic cousins. So remember, stay safe and keep your wits about you, or else you could end up like this guy.

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