Nolan Hill coyote euthanized as more Calgarians report coyote concerns
CALGARY -- More Calgarians reported unpleasant encounters with coyotes Wednesday, while the city confirmed it has euthanized one that attacked three people in Nolan Hill.
After three people were bitten by a coyote in the northwest Calgary of Nolan Hill over the past few weeks, Morgan Sebastian, who lives in the Greenbrier neighbourhood, filmed a recent encounter with a coyote that started acting in a menacing manner while she was out walking her dog.
The most recent incident took place Tuesday, when Sebastian was out with her dog on a leash. She filmed the encounter, which she said was her third coyote confrontation in less than a week.
She reached out to CTV News after calling the city and Alberta Fish and Wildlife to file complaints, only to be bounced back and forth between the two agencies.
Also, a Calgary resident from Montgomery shot video last week of a coyote following him and his dog while he was out for a walk.
No one was hurt in either incident, but that wasn't the case in Nolan Hill, where three people were bitten.
A city spokesperson confirmed early Wednesday evening that the Nolan Hill coyote was euthanized Tuesday.
"Calgary’s population of urban coyotes means at times there will be encounters with citizens in parks, green spaces and neighbourhoods. However, it is unlikely that these encounters will lead to a negative interaction as aggressive behaviour in coyotes is very rare," the city said in a statement.
"As stated previously, the coyote in Nolan Hill was uncommonly bold and aggressive. The Nolan Hill coyote was permanently removed by our contractors, who identified and confirmed that this was the correct animal prior to removal, on the evening of June 22."
'A LITTLE SCARY'
Sebastian said in more than three years living in Greenbrier, it's the first time she's experienced anything like this, from one coyote circling to several coyotes surrounding them and even charging them.
"It is a little scary," she said. "(Although) I am more scared for the old ladies that walk their small dogs in the area and the small children in the area, especially after the unprovoked attacks in Nolan Hill."
"It's a little nerve-wracking," said Sebastian. "I've got little rocks in my pocket."
PROTECTING COYOTE PUPS
Shelley Alexander at the University of Calgary said June is traditionally the time when coyotes move their pups to a secondary den, and in an urban setting like Calgary, they might feel the need to move them more than once in order to protect them.
That in turn might explain them exhibiting more aggressive behavior towards people, which she said is known as "escorting", which is amplified when a person has a dog with them.
The city issued a response to Sebastian's video late Wednesday as well.
"Regarding the video provided entitled, “Coyote close encounter (Part1)”, we are familiar with this area and have placed signage to inform residents that there are active coyotes in the area," they said.
"There is a den in the area and the coyote is likely guarding its den. As shown in the video, when the person walks to a distance the coyote is comfortable with, the animal turns around and walks away. This video reiterates the importance of ensuring pets are on-leash when walking, as well as not approaching coyotes and making sure to give them plenty of space."
"Citizen safety is the number one priority," it said. "The City supports and encourages peaceful co-existence with coyotes through public education and, if needed, proactive management.
"We have had great success with our hazing program, which has helped limit the amount of negative human/coyote interactions. We focus hazing efforts and determine locations based on 311 calls and investigations into the severity of each call.
"Our contractors are working in several communities throughout the city that we have determined to be priority areas. So far, from January to June this year, we have received 20 per cent fewer coyote 311 calls than over the same period in 2020."
With files from Camilla di Giuseppe