The Conservation Officer Service is reminding the public that coyote breeding season is currently underway and that precautions should be taken in case of an encounter.
So far this season, conservation officers have not received any calls regarding coyote conflicts in Pitt Meadows.
In Maple Ridge there has been one call about a sighting in Maple Ridge, but it did not warrant presence conservation, said David Karn, a spokesperson with the Ministry of the Environment.
Karn said in 2021 conservation received 29 reports of coyotes in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge areas. However, he noted, the majority of the reports were sightings and did not require conservation officers to attend.
But that doesn’t mean the public should be complacent.
“We are currently seeing an increased number of coyote reports in the Lower Mainland, which is typical at this time of year. Coyote breeding season typically runs until mid-March,” said Karn.
Karn noted that many of the reports that conservation receives involves dogs. He is recommending pet owners to keep their dogs on a leash and their cats inside to prevent coyote conflicts.
Online the provincial agency said coyotes are naturally curious animals, but very timid. Advice includes not running away. Instead, use stones, sticks, rocks, loud noises, waving arms, and aggressive yelling – while making eye contact – in order to scare away an approaching coyote.
The agency also advised to give all wild animals distance and to avoid hiking alone. And never feed wildlife – secure all food and garbage containers.
Karn said conservation officers assess human-wildlife conflict calls based on individual circumstances, considering factors such as the risk to public safety, officer location and time delay in calling on whether a physical response is required.
Often, he said, advice can be provided over the phone if the risk to public safety is minimal.
For additional safety tips to to tinyurl.com/5ftevbc6 or WildSafeBC.
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