According to Patch.com, Framingham Police used their 9-1-1 system to contact residents and warn them that a dog had been killed by a pack of coyotes. But a necropsy performed by the Massachusetts Department of Fisheries and Wildlife revealed coyotes were not the culprit.
“A spokesperson for the state said the dog died from a blunt force trauma, which could include being struck by a vehicle,” Patch.com has reported.
It is presumed that coyotes – along with other scavengers – then inspected the corpse to see if it was edible. But it is quite rare for a necropsy – either formal or informal – to be performed to determine cause of death.
This is in line with much of what former USDA trapper Cater Niemeyer wrote in his disturbing, yet revealing book, Wolfer.
“Most trappers I knew did their investigations with the tips of their boots, rolling the animal to one side, never taking their hands from their pockets. Yep, they’d say, looks like a wolf did it, or at least was ‘possibly’ or ‘probably’ responsible. It quickly became the fashion to blame wolves for all things dead.”
Blaming coyotes – or any other predator – is a knee-jerk reaction to tragedy. And, unfortunately, it frequently leads to the wholesale murder of a great number of innocent animals.
Understanding wildlife behaviour and creating co-existence plans, as can be found in our Living With Wildlife campaign, is a positive way to not only educate the public, but prevent conflict as well.
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