Conservation officers on the North Shore are again warning the public after a coyote snatched a small dog and killed it, the second such case in a month.
The incident happened on Wednesday evening when a woman was walking her six-year-old Miniature Pinscher Rolo in Roche Point Park.
“Our dog was five feet ahead of my girlfriend and the coyote just kind of popped out of the bush, snatched his neck and was gone before anyone could even do anything,” said Danny Hughes.
“Immediately, my girlfriend just went into complete terror mode and was screaming at the top of her lungs. She ran into the bush trying to go after the coyote. It just was gone.”
They had been walking Rolo off-leash in the park for most of his life, Hughes said, and they had never seen a coyote before.
Now Hughes is hoping his neighbours can learn from the experience and avoid the heartache his family is enduring.
“We’re pretty devastated,” he said. “We don’t want it to happen to anyone else.”
On April 7, a West Vancouver woman was walking her Pomeranian near Chelsea Close Park in the British Properties when a coyote grabbed the small dog and killed it in front of her.
Conservation officer Lonnie Schoenthal said pets should be kept close in any wilderness area of the North Shore.
“You’re going to have wildlife in those mountains. There are cougars. There are coyotes. There are black bears. When you’re walking with a pet, you must remain extremely vigilant with that pet and keep it on a short leash at all times,” he said.
If you do happen by a coyote while on the trails with your pet, pick the pooch up immediately, Schoenthal said and let the coyote know you mean business.
“Make some noise. Scare the coyote off at all times. We don’t want the coyote to become habituated to us. We want them to keep that natural fear of us. We want the wildlife to stay wild,” he said.
Conflicts with coyotes and other wildlife should be reported to the Conservation Officer Service’s hotline at 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP).
“That helps us gauge the situation and really know where the coyotes are,” Schoenthal said.