An unfortunate case in point is a near attack by a coyote on a lady walking her small dog in Markham, Ontario January 11, 2018.
Nothing appears to have changed because of this incident. The Town of Markham website does not make mention of coyote concerns. The lesson learned from this incident for the City officials is the need for education of residents on how to scare away a coyote if it approaches you on the streets of Markham. Is that the best the City of Markham can do for the lady that was growled at and almost attacked by a coyote. This appears to be the same approach in Collingwood as we had a recent media reported attack on a dog (Town controls the reported coyote incidents).
If the coyote had killed the Markham lady’s dog; it appears nothing would be done – just another teaching moment to coexist. If the coyote bit the woman during the attack on her dog it is not clear what would have been done. The lady would have been blamed for not properly hazing the coyote or that particular coyote is a problem coyote which may warrant action – if they can find it or distinguish that coyote between it and the many in the area.
The actions by cities are to call in Coyote Watch Canada “CWC” and educate people on how to manage the conflict with coyotes with the goal of coexistence. To tell us it is unlikely that coyotes will harm us but small pets are at risk so change your lives and rights to freedom and safely to allow coyotes to roam at large. The Town of Collingwood is organizing a Coyote Watch Canada information session.
The women above screamed at the coyote, through snow at it and the coyote growled at her. How effective is the Coyote Watch education in this case. CWC will say small dogs are at risk so you are best to keep them inside away from coyotes. Is it not reasonable for this lady or any resident in a city such as Collingwood to be able to go for a walk with your dog and not be growled at by a wild animal, or have your dog attacked by a coyote. In Collingwood, there are packs of three coyotes in one area (Georgina Manor Drive) and a pack of seven in another (Sunset Point). It is logical that the risks are higher. This situation may not be in the stats of Coyote Watch Canada – and many of these sightings are not being reported to help form reliable information. This may be a growing concern which the government is slow to react to. It may take a human tragedy to understand the level of concern needed to take action to prevent coyote attacks.
Are our public parks areas safe accordingly to Coyote Watch Canada stats. If a pack of three wild coyotes frequent a park in Collingwood such as the Nip Spooner park on Georgian Manor Drive; are we suppose to accept the stats that it is unlikely they will attack children. Attacks have happened but it is uncommon according to Coyote Watch Canada so we should coexist with coyotes in our parks? Would any responsible parent take the assurances of Coyote Watch Canada stats (mandated to protect coyotes) and put their children near an area with wild unpredictable animals looking for food. The education of strategies to possibly save a child’s live are helpful but advocating that the long term strategy is to coexist is negligent as we are waiting for a tragedy to update the stats and take action.
If these coyotes were on a farm property around livestock; farmers would shoot them which is permitted by Ontario law. If coyotes kill livestock the Ontario government has a Wildlife Damage Compensation Program to compensate farmers. There is a staff of Ontario government officials that review reports of livestock to determine if the farmer should be paid. Ontario tax payers are paying millions of dollars for damages by wild animals such as coyotes. The federal government is funding Coyote Watch Canada coexistence education. There is no money available to Collingwood residents to prevent our coyote concerns. Residents have to fund action. It is difficult to compete and succeed with all the government resources focused on coexistence which now includes the Town of Collingwood which does not deal with wildlife.
Why doesn’t Coyote Watch educate farmers to coexist with coyotes? Would farmers accept this as the solution to their coyote concerns? Should farmers be expected to; stand tall, make noises and walk backwards (day and night) and/or train their livestock to co-exist with coyotes like our children and small doges are expected to. Should farmers keep their livestock inside and away from coyotes to allow coyotes to roam at large on farms? (or build higher fences as MNRF recommends) We all know what farmers would say if the Town of Collingwood called a Coyote Watch Canada meeting to educate them on coexisting with coyotes. It would be interesting to have farmers attend the planned Coyote Watch Canada meeting in Collingwood.
Why is there a double standard in which coyotes in cities can attack and kill our dogs without action by Police or Town staff while they are killed regularly in rural areas to protect property such as livestock. Why does the Town of Collingwood and our OPP services not protect our dogs, streets and parks from wild animals roaming at large? The point is not to suggest we start shooting coyotes in parks and streets but rather address coyote concerns with an action plan to prevent coyotes from entering these areas in cities such as Collingwood.
Why are we waiting for more attacks on people? Why do we not manage the unpredictable and deadly risk of coyotes by eliminating it in cities vs telling us to prevent contact with coyotes in our daily lives or to change our daily lives in Collingwood to allow coyotes to roam at large while we take cover?
Are coyotes more intelligent then our government policy makers? Coyotes realize they can roam at large in cities with out harm from predators (wolves and bears) and humans are defenseless noisy potential prey; therefore they have found a new home with no taxes, free food and very little law to stop them doing what they want to do or where they want to roam. Looks like coyotes have it figured out at the envy of people – and terror of people.
People need to get engaged in this issue for something to be done.
Email Collingwood Council members to voice your concerns. http://www.collingwood.ca/council