Coyote panic is becoming a seasonal phenomenon in Ottawa and the region. Sightings and media sensationalism all contribute to a growing terror of local canids.
Ottawa isn’t the only municipality struggling with its relationship with coyotes and some suggest a violent, cruel and ineffective solution in the form of slaughter. The truth is, human-coyote encounters are largely a man-made problem. spiral of urban sprawl, habitat destruction and creation of food sources by poorly secured trash cans or compost bins, outdoor pet food dishes and prey availability, including small wildlife and cats.
Encounters between humans and coyotes will only increase as more habitat is destroyed and coyotes have to search for resources in urban settings.
What can we do to coexist with coyotes? Pet owners are likely to face some of the biggest challengesbut there are solutions to protect pets without harming wildlife. For cat owners, it’s as simple as keeping your pet indoors. Coyotes are just one of the many dangers the outdoors poses to a cat. There are many ways to keep a cat happy and healthy indoors and cats can even enjoy the outdoors safely on a leash and harness with their owner or under supervision in the backyard.
Dog owners can protect their pets by keeping their dogs on a leash while out for a walk. This will prevent a dog from running away, getting lost, or looking for a coyote encounter. When walking a small dog in an area where coyotes may be present, picking up and carrying the dog can go a long way to keeping it safe.
Although there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of encountering a coyote, the only way to prevent coyote encounters is to advocate for the protection of their habitats and to ensure they have a home who is not in an urban community. Contact your local councilor and let them know that the best way to avoid encounters with coyotes is to protect their natural habitat.
SUPPORT THE LOCAL STITTSVILLE