Several coyotes have been spotted in the St. Alban's area in recent weeks.
On March 17th, a single coyote was spotted roaming in the town of St. Alban’s. The RCMP Detachment in Milltown received a call informing them that a coyote was reported next to the Pub Lounge. The weekend before the RCMP received another call reporting another single coyote sighting.
“We have been patrolling the area but have not spotted anything yet,” stated Cst. Michelle Pike. “We would like to warn pet owners especially to keep their dogs tethered and not let them outside for long periods of time.”
Coyote attacks on people are extremely rare and they are referred to as prairie wolves or wild dogs. They have a huge fear of humans and usually their attacks on people occur when a coyote has become comfortable around people, often as a result of people feeding them.
A local resident, Allan Howse said a large coyote was in his garden his yard few nights ago.
“My dog started barking and running through the house so I knew something was wrong. I got up and looked out the door and here was a coyote a few feet away from my home. I yelled and shouted but he never moved. He seemed to have no fear of me. Shortly after he moved a few feet over to the next house and stayed their just looking at me. Eventually he moved on through the alders behind a neighbor’s home,” said Mr. Howse. Mr. Howse said the coyote was white in color and had a grayish tail. He stated that the single coyote was extremely large in size.
Another resident, Cory Organ, video taped his dog being approached by a coyote outside his home. This video was posted on the CBC website and is also on The Coaster Website for viewing.
“If anyone is having a problem with coyotes they should contact a conservation officer in the area,” stated MHA Tracey Perry. “I strongly encourage residents to avoid any practices that would increase the likelihood of the coyote becoming too comfortable around people and start associating humans with food. Our local wildlife office will certainly act to set live traps if you feel that a coyote has become a nuisance or appears to have lost its fear of humans.”
Perry has listed information on her facebook site frequently advertising the Environment and Conservation site which informs residences of the shooting season, fees, dates and harvest limit for those who were inquiring.
Coyotes can be found in rural and urban area across Canada. They often shy away from humans, but if one does approach, here's what people should do according to the provincial Department of
Be aggressive yourself, wave your arms, stomp and yell loudly in a deep voice to deter it from coming closer. Stand your ground, stay where you are and look it in the eye. Never run away; it is more likely to consider you prey, give chase and seriously harm you.
Be prepared, the best defence is a good offence; carry a whistle, flashlight and/or personal alarm. This is especially important for small children who play outside or walk to school in areas where coyotes have been spotted.
Stay together: If you are walking in an area that has high coyote activity, never do so without a companion. Don't lure them with food, coyotes are scavengers. If you have pets, feed them inside the house rather than leaving food outside, don’t leave meat scraps or products in compost buckets outside your house, keep regular compost in an enclosed area and ensure garbage bins have tight resealable lids to keep out animals.