Can coyotes and men cohabit?

There is more and more talk of observing coyotes in cities. Our journalists have seen this phenomenon emerge. They are also wondering about the best method to ensure peaceful coexistence between humans and wild beasts.

On August 26, 1996, journalist Jean-François Lesage highlighted an abundance of coyotes in the Vancouver area. In a report on Tonight, the reporter says that 5,000 of these canines live in the wooded area of ​​the main city of British Columbia.

These carnivores often have an empty stomach. They fill it frequently by eating domestic cats and dogs, as the authorities of the Society for the Protection of Animals regret.

A new phenomenon in eastern North America

Since the 1960s, there has been a new phenomenon. The species, native to western North America, migrates eastward.

As nature hates emptiness, the coyote slowly occupies the habitat often abandoned by the wolf in the eastern United States and Canada. It has established itself in the urban areas of this region.

Recently, it has been reported in New York City, throughout the northeastern United States and Ontario. The coyote has also migrated to the Montreal area. There, as in other cities, cohabitation with humans is difficult, even dangerous.

See what happened in October 2009 to Taylor Mitchell. The Toronto woman walked alone on a trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Nova Scotia. Three coyotes, probably hungry, killed her.

Taylor Mitchell is the first victim of coyote aggression in North America.

The journalist Benoît Livernoche tells us about this drama and the reaction it generated in a report presented on the program La semaine verte on March 9, 2013. In Chéticamp, the community that lives near the national park is worried.

It’s a big shock for the community. It never happened here before.

Helena Burke, farmer residing in Chéticamp

Why, one wonders, has such an attack occurred? An official from the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources is proposing an answer that would explain this deadly behavior.

As soon as we start feeding the animals, they become comfortable with the presence of humans. So there is a habit that develops in them. Problems begin when you remove the food or refuse to give it. They can then become very aggressive.

Michael Boudreau, biologist

The reaction of the park authorities was to allow the hunting of coyotes in order to relearn the fear of humans. Many biologists dispute this approach and propose a more peaceful alternative.

Coyotes are more numerous in urban areas. There are basic rules for peacefully living with them.

Never feed them. Pick up leftover food when you leave a picnic area. In areas likely to house coyotes, place your garbage bags preferably in rigid containers.

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