Don’t feel sorry for a pack of coyotes who’ve been displaced from their homes by logging on a piece of private property in south Pitt Meadows.
The animals, including a mother with seven pups, have been spotted roaming around Osprey Village and crossing busy thoroughfares at Harris Road and Airport Way.
“They are going crazy and being very protective about their pups,” said Coun. Tracy Miyashita, who asked council on Tuesday if the city could do something about the problem.
However, the B.C. Conservation Service recommends doing nothing, other than making sure garbage, pets and pet food are secure so the coyotes can’t find an easy snack.
Denny Chrétien, a conservation officer, said coyotes are quick to migrate from dens.
“In the wild, it’s a very natural thing to do,” he explains.
“Most coyotes or canines already have multiple dens set up in their range that they move to immediately after a threat. When they lose their fear of humans, then that’s a problem.”
The conservation service has received three calls reporting coyotes near Osprey Village since June 1.
Since the beginning of the year, the Tri-City area, Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows generated a total of 28 calls about coyotes. Of those, only two involved aggressive animals, while three were pet kills.
Smaller than a wolf, and more adaptable, the coyote is one of the few mammals whose range is increasing, despite extensive persecution by people.
In Canada, the coyote still lives in its traditional habitats – the aspen parkland and grasslands in the three prairie provinces.
However, it has spread north into the boreal forest, west into the mountains, and east into Ontario, Quebec, and the Atlantic provinces.
“You can’t straight out blame the bulldozers. Coyotes love being in the open air,” said Chrétien. “They like fields because they feed on mice. It’s all natural what people are observing. Those pups are now exploring their boundaries. Until a few of them either get hit by vehicles, shot or trapped, then their demeanour will change. It’s all part of natural selection.”
It is not normal for coyotes to attack or pursue humans, especially adults.
Problems between children and coyotes are usually the result of the coyote becoming conditioned or comfortable with people as a result of direct or indirect feeding.
Children shouldn’t be left unsupervised if a coyote is in area.
Coexisting with coyotes
If a coyote has acted aggressively or displayed aggressive behaviour towards a human, call 1-800-663-9453. The Stanley Park Ecology Society also offers excellent tips on how to coexist with coyotes at stanleyparkecology.ca or by calling 604-681-WILD (9453) or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• See related story: Coyotes now frolick near Golden Ears Bridge