Coyotes sightings and attacks in montreal
Coyotes sightings – In the past, wildlife was mostly spotted in rural areas – with the occasional bear seen raiding garbage bins and offering great photo opportunities. For the most part, urban areas were still basically immune. But that is now also the past, as wild animals, particularly coyotes, are making their way into our very own backyards.
In July of 2016, a video of a coyote caught playing with a ball in a Kirkland family’s yard, surfaced on social media and was seen as more of an amusing event – but it portended a far more serious problem. Coyotes are now being sighted all over the island.
They have been spotted in Pointe Claire, Kirkland, Cote St. Luc and Saint-Laurent, as well as in the Villeray/St.Michel-Parc Extension borough and the Ahunstic/Cartierville area. Coyotes have even been spotted in broad daylight careening on Papineau Ave., Saint-Michel Blvd. and Notre-Dame street. Another was shot and killed by police in a Park Extension residential area on September 27th.
This past September 14th, a woman claimed her Chihuahua was mauled to death by a coyote in a St. Michel park. The borough of St. Laurent issued an alert in August about a coyote spotted in the Montpellier area near the railway tracks. At least six people in Montreal reported being bitten or scratched by coyotes this year – at least three dogs have also been attacked.
Raccoons, squirrels and skunks have been part the urban environment for so long that many don’t even see them as ‘wildlife’ anymore – they have become city dwellers and are comfortable with the food they find in gardens and the plentiful buffet of garbage available to them. They have learned to adapt.
But our city and suburbs are growing denser, rural areas are being developed – affecting natural wildlife habitats to the point there is no alternative for them but to move closer to where they can find food and for some, even shelter. We have slowly but steadily been destroying their homes and hunting grounds for our own needs.
There needs to be a balance between human activity and the needs of wildlife – but there also has to be an awareness and will to do so. Until then, don’t feed the coyotes, keep yourself and your pets away from them. If you spot one, call the Urban Security Patrol in your area.
Bonnie Wurst – mtltimes.ca