Park rangers issue warning after dog attacked, killed by coyote on Cape Cod beach

PROVINCETOWN, MASS. (WHDH) - Park Rangers are warning beachgoers to keep an eye on their small pets after a dog was attacked and killed by a coyote Monday evening.

After several days of attempting to scare the coyotes away from Herring Cove beach, park rangers shot and killed a coyote that had been acting aggressively around people and was seen killing a puppy who was walking off-leash about 40 feet away from its owners.

”This is a sad event,” said Superintendent of Cape Cod National SeashoreBrian Carlstrom. “No one wants to have their day at the national seashore end in this manner, and our rangers take no pleasure in killing a wild animal. Unfortunately, scenes like this play out frequently in national parks. People don’t understand the implications of approaching or feeding wildlife, often leading to tragic consequences for the public and the animals.”

A coyote also bit a visitor on May 23, though it is not clear if it was the same animal involved in the other incident.

Starting in March, the wild animals have begun congregating at Herring Cove where visitors have left out dog food and fish heads to feed them periodically over the years.

Park Rangers are urging visitors to maintain a safe distance from coyotes and to keep their pets leashed at all times.

It is illegal to feed, disturb, or harass wildlife in national parks.

Animals that are fed often lose their fear of people, becoming unpredictable and aggressive in attempts to gain food. This can lead to serious injury to people and the destruction of the wild animal. In addition, feeding draws more animals in, resulting in unnaturally high populations, competition for human-provided food, and aggressive behavior.

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