Next Score View the next score

    Coyote captured in Mattapan

    If this were a Looney Tunes cartoon, it might unfold this way: A cornered Wile E. Coyote opens a box marked Acme Vanishing Powder and — poof — disappears.

    No such luck for the scrawny intruder that wandered into Mattapan on Thursday.

    Animal control officers collared the adult female coyote on Hosmer Street around 12:30 p.m. after a hunt that lasted nearly an hour. The animal’s movements around the neighborhood caused a bit of a stir and prompted officials to briefly secure the Mildred Avenue K-8 School as a precaution.


    The recalcitrant animal, which was a bit smaller than a Labrador retriever, was dragged from behind a house by officers and placed in an Animal Control truck.

    Get Fast Forward in your inbox:
    Forget yesterday's news. Get what you need today in this early-morning email.
    Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

    It was the latest example of wildlife encroachment in Greater Boston. In the past year, ­coyotes have been seen in broad daylight in the North End, ­Chinatown, and the Financial District (after hoofing it through Ted Williams Tunnel). Also seen: a roaming black bear, numerous foxes, and increasingly ornery wild turkeys.

    “We obviously are very close to a lot of protected lands, and coyotes are seen frequently around many parts of the city,” said Dot Joyce, spokeswoman for Mayor Thomas M. Menino. “People should take precautions, and when they see one, call the city.’’

    Anthony Smith, 48, who lives on Hosmer Street, said he heard a commotion and came out to find “everyone making a fuss” as the hunt closed in on its target. At one point, the coyote was spotted near the Fairmount commuter rail tracks.

    “I don’t know why [coyotes] are coming here in the city; they should be out in the woods,” Smith said. “I think they’re following the train tracks, because it’s rare to see them in the neighborhood.”


    Boston School Department spokesman Lee McGuire said the school had been placed in “safe mode” out of an abundance of caution. Students could move freely inside the school, but they were not allowed out for recess.

    Coyotes are not uncommon to the area, since cities do have greenspace that are attractive to wildlife, said Laura Conlee, a state wildlife biologist.

    “Railroads aren’t as busy as busy streets and typically connect different bits of greenspace,” Conlee said. “And they’re usually covered in trees, not in the open. They’re pretty good corridors for wildlife movement.”

    She added that wild animals are attracted to trash and food left outside, and it is not unusual for them to appear during the day if they know that is when they will find food.

    The coyote was taken to the Tufts Wildlife Clinic in Grafton for an examination and is being treated for a preexisting eye injury and mange, said Katie ­Cinnamond, a Tufts spokeswoman.


    Doctors have taken X-rays and blood samples and are still assessing the coyote. Future plans for the coyote were unknown Thursday evening, Cinnamond said.

    Martin Finucane of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Sarah N. Mattero can be reached at