Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Coyote Kills Dog In Simcoe Region

SHANTY BAY - A Shanty Bay resident says his three dogs were recently attacked near his home by a pair of coyotes. One of the dogs died from its injuries. “I let my three miniature schnauzers out at night,” said Hamilton. “They were about 30 feet away from me and got attacked by coyotes.” Hamilton has an unfenced yard backing onto farmland and when he heard his dogs in distress, he grabbed a flashlight. “I thought it was only one coyote, but there was two. When you shine a flashlight at them, their eyes glow. I was chasing it, and when I saw two it made me think about it. I could’ve been lunch.” Hamilton was shocked the coyotes showed no fear of him. “They didn’t turn and run away, they stood there and looked at me.” Sadly, a coyote shook one of the dogs to death. Other neighbours have noticed coyotes too. “One of my neighbours now walks his dog with a bat. I guess they’re just in the area.” Greg Cull, a fish and wildlife technical specialist with the Ministry of Natural Resources, said coyote attacks on small pets are not common but do occur. “Keep your pets close to you, on a leash or in a well-fenced area,” he advised More than a decade ago, Cull said coyotes were scarce in this area. “There were a few in 2001, but many had mange, which is when they have mites in the skin that cause them to lose their hair. They were susceptible to hypothermia so we saw high mortality in the late-90s. “I can’t say what the population is in Simcoe County, but I’ve heard from hunters and trappers who have indicated the population is reasonably high.” Coyotes don’t mind sharing space with humans, and in fact have been found living downtown Toronto in industrial areas, he said. “As long as there’s enough wild food like squirrels and rabbits, they can fit into small pockets.” In Barrie, reports have coyotes casually walking down the road in the north end of town. Cull said the risk of human interaction increases “if they are being fed by humans, either intentionally or unintentionally. They are omnivores, and will eat garbage, birdseed, fruit and dog food left outside. We advise people to remove any of those attractants around their house.”
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