SWAMPSCOTT — An animal welfare advocacy group is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in the case of a coyote found in Swampscott last month in an illegal trap.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund said in a press release that the young male coyote, estimated to be about five months old, was caught in a "Duke 160" trap that someone had placed near a golf course. The trap is designed to capture raccoons and groundhogs.
Police had received multiple calls shortly before 10 a.m. on Aug. 28 concerning a small coyote with a trap on its head near the Tedesco maintenance building off Salem Street, according to the department's publicly available log. The animal fled, but police took several additional calls reporting sightings of the coyote during that day. Officials set out a humane trap and managed to catch the coyote on Sept. 7.
By the time the coyote was found, it had become emaciated due to its inability to open its mouth to eat, in addition to the injuries suffered from the trap, including a broken jaw, officials said. The coyote was euthanized.
“Much like the companion animals we consider family, wildlife animals are capable of feeling pain and deserve to be protected under the law,” says Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells in a press release announcing the reward. “We commend the Swampscott Police Department for taking this case seriously and urge anyone with information about this crime to come forward.”
Coyotes are often seen around the North Shore and can easily live close to people.
Swampscott police and animal control are asking those who have information about the incident to contact them at 781-595-1111.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis.