Editor, The Record:
Re: Coyotes plaguing dog walkers, Aug. 2 edition.
Across Canada, coyotes are living in urban and semi-urban communities. Yes, they will eat small dogs and cats. Coyotes, like other wild animals, are motivated by hunger. They will kill our pets not out of malice or spite, but simply because they are following their wild instincts, they’re hungry. Regarding coyote attacks on humans, they are extremely rare. Statistically speaking, you are much more likely to be injured by a garden hose.
Coyotes are quite shy and non-aggressive. They tend to scare easily and are often solitary animals, preferring to travel alone. They are small in size and an adult on average, weighs between 18 to 30 pounds. If you are with your dog and you see a coyote, throw rocks, make loud noises and pick-up or hold your dog if possible.
The best way to discourage coyotes in your community is to limit the number of attractants (garbage, fallen fruit, outdoor pets and pet food). Feeding coyotes intentionally or not, habituates these animals to people.
Municipalities including Vancouver have a city-wide coyote program to help manage people’s perceptions of coyotes. As part of the program, Vancouver has a coyote hotline to report citings and the data is collected to caution specific neighbourhoods during times of high coyote activity so people can take proper precautions.
We urge the District of Mission to adopt a similar coyote education program so dog walkers and the community of Mission can strive for a healthy co-existence with wildlife.
For more information, www.furbearerdefenders.com.
The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals