NAHANT, MASS. (WHDH) - Residents of a tiny Massachusetts town say their neighborhood is crawling with dangerous predators.

7 Investigates goes inside the secret hunt for Nahant’s coyotes.  Dan Hausle has the story –

“They follow us,” one concerned resident said.

 “It shouldn’t be that you fear living and walking out your door,” Nahant resident Gail Hyde said.

It’s a well-founded fear, because, for months, aggressive coyotes have terrorized the small seaside town of Nahant. 

  “We see them all on our cameras,” Hyde said.

Coyotes often lurk in Gail Hyde’s backyard.  She worries they’ll attack her dog.

 “I have to look around to see if the coyote is in the backyard and they’ve been here numerous times.”

She carries a golf club for protection whenever she’s outside. 

“I’m ticked off,” Hyde said.

 “They’ve become very aggressive,” another concerned resident, Jennifer McCarthy said.

McCarthy uses an air horn to scare off coyotes. 

 “It’s nerve-wracking.”

Things have gotten so bad that the town has called the U.S. Department of Agriculture to have snipers come shoot aggressive coyotes.   

 “It’s a professional wild life service program that is the safest,” Nahant Town Manager, Antonio Barletta, said.

But the operation is shrouded in secrecy. 

Neither the feds nor the town manager will say where or when the U.S.D.A. is hunting the coyotes. That makes residents nervous.

“Give us information… don’t keep us the dark,” Nahant resident Medi Mirnasiri said.

But 7 Investigates obtained these never-before-seen photos of the coyotes on the prowl.  Hundreds of photos, from the federal government, show the animals circling bait left in hunting areas.

“It is very difficult to identify which coyote is the problem,” Barletta said.  

Sharp shooters only target aggressive coyotes according to Nahant’s town manager.  

“If you remove a coyote and the problems go away, you assume you got the right one.”

So far, one coyote has been killed.

“It’s not like a recreational hunt.  This is a very prescribed, very carefully thought- out program with professionals,” Barletta said.

Nahant’s town manager says the project is working.  

“I would say it’s been successful because since the program we’ve had zero aggressive events,” Barletta said.

Despite the ongoing hunt, residents still feel unsafe while spending time outdoors.  

“I just saw three on Friday night,” one Nahant resident said.

“Nervous, very nervous. You’re just always on guard,” McCarthy said.

“I fear that somebody is going to get hurt,” Hyde said.

Nahant is the only community in Massachusetts taking this approach to aggressive wild life.  

The snipers will be on the hunt through February.

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