Coyotes causing fear in Essex County

Laurie Makulski Harrison
By Laurie Makulski Harrison February 24, 2018 09:23

Stock photo courtesy of Kent Wang at Flickr Creative Commons.

Photos and video footage of coyotes in Essex County have been widely shared on social media recently, but experts say there’s nothing to fear.

“They are all over. Lasalle has some, Tecumseh area has some, personally I’ve seen them right downtown Windsor. I’ve seen coyotes myself in the area, they are widespread, “said Ellen Hedges, animal care manager and volunteer with Erie Wildlife.

“They are no more threats to our pets than usual, no more than there have been all along. There is nothing to have caused an increase of a threat.”

Recent local videos on social media depict coyotes playing and crossing streets, but the comments express fear for pets.

“People will call us with coyote sightings but we have no knowledge of any attacks,” said Hedges.

“Where people are perceiving these incidents of attacks, it is being more sensationalized with social media getting those stories out as well, I think that people are just talking about it more.”


This photo of what appears to be a coyote sitting upon a fence has been shared in websites and across social media throughout North America for years.
Photo courtesy of Coffey Outdoors Facebook page.

Adding to the worry of some Essex County residents, a recent photo was shared on social media, showing what looks to be a coyote sitting upon a chain link fence of a residential backyard. The post suggests the photo may have been taken recently in Lasalle, and that fences do not protect your pets. In fact, this photo has been circulating on websites and social media pages for years and was not taken locally.

Coyote Watch Canada advocates for positive human-wildlife experiences.

“Coyotes are the epitome of a reliable ‘eco-thermometer’ for any community where they inhabit. When coyotes become comfortable around people, encounters often increase. Most often, humans come into conflict with coyotes due to our misunderstanding and indifference toward this family-oriented, social and highly adaptable canine,” according to its website

Coyote Watch Canada says coyotes don’t prey on dogs to eat them but will attack and kill if they feel they’re competing for food sources. It suggests using “hazing” techniques to scare the animals away.

Hazing techniques can include: making loud noises, waving arms, popping open an umbrella, shaking car keys, throwing objects near the animal and chasing it, but the website advises a person should never run from a coyote as this could spark the predator instinct to chase.

The website also has suggestions for keeping coyotes from being attracted to your property. Do not feed coyotes either directly or indirectly by: leaving food sources out, feeding their prey such as birds and squirrels, keep garbage, recycling and compost indoors until 6 a.m., keep meat and egg products separate from composting until it is set out, clean up fallen fruit and berries, close off any access to the underside of decks or sheds, clean grills and leave no food outdoors.

Laurie Makulski Harrison
By Laurie Makulski Harrison February 24, 2018 09:23

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