Dead squirrel, rabbit found on North track


Emma Brignall

The Girls Cross Country team encountered two dead animals while warming up, Monday morning, Oct. 18, with speculation that coyotes or hawks are responsible.

Students came across a squirrel and a rabbit, both dead and without a visible predator.

“We saw one animal first and we were like ‘oh my god,’ and everyone felt bad for it,” said freshman Manon Catlin. “Almost at the end of the warm up there was a bunny with all of its guts spilled out.”

According to custodian Michael Sullivan, coyotes often stalk the track in the morning while it’s still dark.

According to Catlin, while the first animal was mostly intact, the second was not. “There was a lot of blood everywhere,” she added. “There’s still red stains on the track from the bunny.”

Math teacher and coach of the Girls’ Cross Country team Brandon Mogayzel removed the bodies. 

“I grabbed a piece of cardboard and scooped them onto the grass, assuming whatever had got them would come back later,” he said. “The next day, they were not there.”

According to Winston, a headless rabbit was found on the track two weeks earlier.

While no more dead creatures have been spotted after two days, this incident is not the first of its kind. 

“Last winter, on two consecutive days there was a hawk that flew over the track with a rabbit in its claws and dropped it very near the cafeteria,” said Mogayzel. “I’ve seen hawks all over the school grounds.” 

Sightings of both coyotes and hawks in Newton make either animal a possible cause of the deaths, said Mogayzel.

“It doesn’t surprise me that there have been coyotes at night,” added Winston. “It’s pretty common in Newton.”