While coyotes have been spotted in the Metro Vancouver area for many years, there seems to be a spike in recent sightings of the wily creatures.
With that in mind, they aren’t known to be especially dangerous. However, they do have a penchant for household pets, and many of our four-legged buddies become easy meals.
What’s more, a number of residents in the Mount Pleasant area have noticed that the lanky predators are getting quite comfortable around people.
For example, @deefontein shared this video to her Twitter account of a coyote casually enjoying itself in her backyard.
— Dara Fontein (@deefontein) January 24, 2019
What’s more, the Stanley Park Ecology Society coyote sighting map reports a vast number of sightings in January 2019 alone. One sighting indicates how a, “Coyote seemed to be following person and dog at a distance of 100 metres,” while another states how there were, “4 coyotes that seem hard to chase off.”
Perhaps most disturbing of all, a recent sighting on January 23 at 1:35 pm notes how a, “Police officer witnessed coyote chasing several different children. Conservation Officers have been notified.” In addition, this type of encounter is listed as ‘aggressive to people.’
If you do see a coyote, try to make as much noise as possible – despite being wild canines, they aren’t bold animals. As a result, you’ll usually be able to scare them away.
Also, make sure that you never feed a coyote, no matter how friendly it appears. Once they lose their fear of people they become a threat to the community. And, as @starleigh_grass points out on Twitter, they may have to be destroyed.
Co-Existing with Coyotes – Vancouver. The most important fact on this site is that if you feed urban coyotes they may become aggressive and then they have to be destroyed. If you love your neighbourhood coyote don’t feed it. https://t.co/mlY0pjESAE
— starleigh_grass (@starleigh_grass) January 20, 2019
SPES also recommends keeping your dog on a leash when going out for walks, especially at night. Both dogs killed in the North Shore last month were off leash at the time of the attacks.
Keeping cats safe can be more difficult due to their solitary nature and desire to wander. SPES strongly advises keeping cats indoors if possible. Barring that, keeping them inside during the night will reduce the chances of encounters with the largely nocturnal coyotes.
With files from the Vancouver Courier.