Canada Growing coyote problem has resident, councillor calling for change

12:47  19 june  2017
12:47  19 june  2017 Source:   Calgary Herald

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Calgary’s contentious coyote conundrum continues with one resident who’s seen the animals become increasingly aggressive calling on the city to get tougher on rogue canines, a notion backed by at least on member of council.

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Calgary’s contentious coyote conundrum continues with one resident, who’s seen the animals become increasingly aggressive, calling on the city to get tougher on the rogue predators, a notion backed by at least one member of council.

Brent Lee lives in northwest Calgary and has had many encounters with coyotes over the years. For the most part, Lee, who lives in Edgemont, said the coyotes are fearful of humans and leave him alone when he’s out walking. 

Last year, however, Lee had an intense encounter with a coyote. He came across a screaming woman with her dog and a coyote attempting to get at it, at a location “almost identical” to where a man’s dog was killed by a coyote in May

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Growing coyote problem has resident , councillor calling for change . Calgary's contentious coyote conundrum continues with one resident , who's seen the Man rescued after 60-foot fall near Canmore.

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“The coyote was intent on going after the dog. I yelled, I screamed, I made very threatening gestures and it showed no fear of man. I’m not sure if it’s the same coyote but their behaviour and the location tells me we may have a problem coyote that has no fear of people,” he said. 

Lee said he’s dealt multiple times with the city and the province’s Fish and Wildlife department, but keeps getting the runaround. 

He wants the city to do more, such as putting a program in place, similar to one in Edmonton, which runs a coyote information hotline and includes, among its list of potential remedies, the removal of the animal. 

“What I question is . . . if Edmonton has a program where they identify, investigate and come up with the best course of action and resolve this human conflict, why can’t Calgary? It seems to me the City of Calgary isn’t doing anything and making up excuses,” said Lee. 

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Growing coyote problem has resident , councillor calling for change . Calgary's contentious coyote conundrum continues with one resident , who's seen the Man rescued after 60-foot fall near Canmore.

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So far, the city’s only response to dealing with the aggressive coyotes is to close areas of the parks in which the coyotes are frequently spotted, with parts of a green space in Panorama Hills fenced off and warning signs erected last month.

However, Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart believes fencing off areas where problem coyotes have been reported is the wrong response to deal with the animals.

“We’re creating a huge problem for ourselves. The problem is spreading with coyotes and once they take up a den and raise their babies there, then they start owning the territory,” she said. “The most ridiculous thing the city could have ever done was close the park to citizens and let the coyotes take over,” said Colley-Urquhart. 

She doesn’t think educational brochures is the way to go, either.

“You can do all the pamphlets you want to spread information to the public, but we’ve got to get rid of them,” Colley-Urquhart said. “Telling citizens that they can’t use the parks is ridiculous. I’m not into using brochures and the education piece at all because the problem is getting worse.” 

Calgary isn’t the only city dealing with aggressive coyotes.

Earlier this month, a pit bull in Airdrie was attacked by a coyote in its owner’s backyard.

The coyote had its jaws locked onto Sophie, an 80-pound American standard pit bull, its owner told Postmedia. The dog suffered a gash above one eye and a puncture wound under its chin, but survived the encounter. 

The coyote was scared off and officers later investigated to see if there were any dens nearby, but were unable to find any. 

ajunker@postmedia.com

On Twitter: @JunkerAnna

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