There are two reported incidents of coyotes attacking pets in urban areas of Maple Ridge so far this month.
On Wednesday, July 22, a coyote attacked a dog on York Street, near Maple Ridge secondary school. The owner reported the incident on a social media site, saying the pet had puncture wounds, and needed veterinary care.
Conservation Officer Sgt. Todd Hunter said on July 14 a home owner called to report that their cat was sitting at the side of the road when a coyote “snatched it up.” That was in the 11800 block of 229th Street.
There are few details about each incident, because officers did not speak directly with the complainants. Conservation officers will generally only get involved with coyotes when there is a threat to the public – not their pets.
If coyotes attack a pet on a leash Hunter urges people to report the attack, because these incidents involve predators which have become more conditioned to food sources in urban neighbourhoods.
There are an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 urban coyotes in the Lower Mainland, according to the BCSPCA.
Hunter advised residents to keep their pets leashed on walks, noting coyotes are “cunning creatures” that will lure loose dogs and prey on them, often with superior numbers. Dogs and cats should not be allowed to run loose on their home property.
“Manage your property, home or business, to the lowest form of wildlife,” he added
A food source for rats, such as seed or pet food left outside, could result in coyotes being attracted to the rats.
“It can bring the whole food chain to your property,” said Hunter.
He noted coyotes are generally more active in the fall, as they teach their young to hunt.