Friday, March 16, 2012

Unsung Heroes for Our Times ~ Project Coyote Expert John Maguranis

John Maguranis
Coyote released back into the wild (Photo: Deanna Gualtieri)

This post begins a brief series I wrote about on March 8th to call attention to some unsung heroes. These dedicated individuals are working to make this world a better place for all living beings. I hope they will inspire you to do the same.

John Maguranis is a friend to coyotes, a much maligned and relentlessly persecuted member of the dog family, and that makes him a Unsung Hero for Our Times. As the Massachusetts Representative for Project Coyote, John leads a public information campaign to educate people about why coyotes matter ecologically and why they deserve respect and appreciation.

Last December, while on duty as an Animal Control Officer for the Town of Belmont, Massachusetts, he was able to catch a female coyote that was dying of mange, a serious parasitic infection that opens up painful, weeping sores on the skin and leads to a slow and agonizing death. Thanks to John's efforts, the coyote was saved through a treatment regimen at a specialty wildlife clinic, and three months later she was healthy enough to be released and rejoin her pack. Read the story here.

Maguranis served as a United States Army veterinary technician for more than twenty-years, caring for a wide range of animals from bald eagles to bison. Upon retiring from the army ten years ago and following his love for animals, he became an Animal Control Officer, dedicated to putting his veterinary skills to work for wildlife.

Coyotes may be extremely unpopular with most folks, but they have a right to live out their lives and we need to learn to live with them instead of trying to eliminate them. John is a true expert when it comes to coyotes and speaks regularly to groups to help them learn ways to coexist with them, prevent dangerous encounters with our pets and more. He can be contacted via Project Coyote or at if you would like to book him to speak at your next community event.

John had sighted the female coyote in terrible condition and near death several times last fall, and when asked why he decided to try and trap her to get her treated, he said he simply could not stand by and let her suffer. Thanks to his willingness to get involved this story has a happy ending for both man and coyote. I am honored to begin this series with John Maguranis. He truly is an Unsung Hero for Our Times.

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