Coyote interactions are on the rise in this B.C. area - InfoNews

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Coyote interactions are on the rise in this B.C. area

Nick Clements captured a photo of this coyote on Wood Lake.
Image Credit: Nick Clements/ @nickclemo
February 29, 2020 - 3:32 PM

Following a string of coyote attacks that left one dog dead and others injured, the BC Conservation Office is warning pet owners in the Fraser Valley to be careful.

In a social media post from Feb. 29, the conservation office said there has also been several reports of aggressive encounters with coyotes in highly-populated areas, which is not normal behaviour and a public safety risk.

"While urban coyote sightings are not uncommon, Conservation Officers say coyotes getting comfortable with the presence of people and pets is concerning," the Facebook post reads.

"One small dog was recently killed by a coyote after its owner let it out on their property. This week, another small dog was snatched by a coyote after its owner let it out in her yard."

The woman managed to pull it back inside, where it was rushed to a veterinarian and is expected to survive. Last week, a coyote grabbed a cat while another was reported growling and chasing a cyclist.

Several recent reports have also surfaced of people encountering coyotes, especially while out walking their dogs.

Conservation Officers suspect coyotes may be becoming more aggressive with dogs at this time of year because they are on the hunt for a mate.

It not normal behaviour for coyotes to attack or chase people, especially adults. Aggressive behaviour toward people is usually the result of the animal becoming food-conditioned.

Like other wildlife, coyotes can also be lured into communities due to unsecure attractants such as garbage, pet food and birdseed. Securing attractants around your home is the best way to prevent human-wildlife conflicts from happening in the first place.

There are also several additional safety measures people can take to discourage coyote conflicts:
• Pick up after your dog and keep dogs on a leash.
• Do not feed pets outside but if you must, clean up any pet food immediately after feeding.
• Do not leave any small pets out unattended for long periods of time, particularly at night.
• If a coyote is in the area it is recommended to keep children inside until the animal has left the area, or to pick children up and carry them.

If you encounter a coyote behaving aggressively toward you:

• Make yourself appear large, make lots of noise, do not run or turn your back on it.
• Use stones, sticks, rocks, loud noises, waving arms and aggressive yelling while maintaining eye contact.
• Pick up small children and slowly back away.

The COS is investigating these incidents. To report a coyote encounter or aggressive behaviour, please call the #RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.

For more information on what you can do to stay safe around coyotes and avoid conflicts, visit WildSafeBC. 


To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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