There have been a number of coyote sightings within UniverCity in recent days. This includes a coyote pup, so please note that adult coyotes are more likely to be aggressive when they are with their young.
We live in a wildlife area, so UniverCity residents should familiarize themselves with how to reduce human-wildlife conflict, and what to do if you encounter a coyote.
The following key points are from the WIldsafe BC website. You can visit their website for extra information about coyotes, and info about other wildlife species that live around us,
Coyote attacks on people are rare in BC but they can perceive pets on and off leash as a potential threat or prey. There have been reports of people, including children, bitten in North America and there has been one fatal human attack that occurred in Nova Scotia in 2009. In the event you encounter a coyote that behaves aggressively towards you or your pet:
Make yourself appear large, maintain eye contact and speak in a low firm voice or shout
Do not run or turn your back to it as this may trigger an attack
Pick up small pets and children immediately; older children should stay close and not try to run away
Wave your arms and if you have a walking stick or gardening implement such as a rake or shovel, be prepared to use it as a weapon against the coyote
Throw rocks, sticks or other objects in the animal’s vicinity
If the coyote continues to approach, do not run or turn your back on it, continue looking large and making noise while you slowly retreat. Move towards more people or into your home or vehicle
If the coyote attacks, deliver a series of blows either with your feet or a sturdy stick at the animal’s ribs and stomach
Bear spray can also be used in the event of an attack
Report the encounter to the Conservation Officer Service
There have been records of coyotes becoming interested in and pursuing children, however, this is usually the result of habituated and food-conditioned coyotes during periods of low food availability. That being said, it is best not to leave small children unattended where they may encounter coyotes. Keep dogs on leash and under control and avoid using extension leashes, especially with small dogs, when out in areas where coyotes are known to be. Coyotes will view small dogs as prey. Coyotes can be more aggressive towards your dog during mating season from February to March and when protecting dens and raising young. Do not allow your dog to interact with coyotes as this permits coyotes to become familiar with humans and pets and can lead to further conflicts. As coyotes can be vectors for a variety of diseases, it is important never to handle deceased animals or droppings with bare hands. While coyotes can carry rabies, there are currently no reports of rabies in BC coyote populations.
Reducing Conflict with Coyotes
Cities provide increased food opportunities for coyotes, with the addition of garbage, pets, fruit, berries, compost, and bird seed. These attractants also support rodents that are a primary food source for coyotes. Avoid attracting coyotes to your property and community by following these best practices:
Keep your pets supervised or kept indoors, especially at night. Cats and dogs that are left to free-range can become easy prey targets.
Feed your pets indoors only.
Pick up after your dog. Canine feces can act as an attractant for coyotes.
Never feed wildlife including coyotes. The Provincial Wildlife Act considers it an offense to attract and/or feed dangerous wildlife which includes bears, wolves, cougars and coyotes.
Keep all garbage secure. Clean garbage containers, and ensure that they have tight fitting secure lids or use bear-resistant bins. Do not place garbage out until the morning of pick up if your neighborhood has curbside pickup.
Bird feeders can also attract non-target species such as bears and rodents. Rodents will then attract coyotes.