Three young children have been bitten by coyotes in the past week in the Ahuntsic-Cartierville borough of Montreal.
In a phone call with the Info-Coyote hotline, a spokesperson told Daily Hive that the first attack happened on July 22, when a three-year old boy suffered minor injuries after he was bitten.
Two more attacks occurred over the weekend as a five-year-old boy and a five-year-old girl were taken to hospital as a precautionary measure after they too suffered coyote bites.
All three children were bitten during the evening at parks in the Ahuntsic-Cartierville district.
Local authorities suspect that people feeding the animals has helped contribute to the problem. Posters have been placed around the neighbourhood to inform residents that coyotes have been spotted and urge people to stay out of the parks after sunset.
Do not approach or feed coyotes, as they are easily tamed by contact with human beings.
Teach children not to approach wild animals.
Keep pets on a leash and/or ensure that you keep the gate to your backyard closed. Letting your pets roam about freely puts them at greater risk for being harmed by wild animals.
Keep garbage out of the reach of animals to keep away rodents, as they are a major food source for coyotes.
Keep coyotes away by building gates and doors close to the ground and high enough to keep them from jumping over.
Keep dogs on a leash when walking in parks. Never let a dog chase a coyote – your dog could be injured fighting with the coyote.
Leave the site by backing away slowly and remaining calm – avoid turning your back to run away. Keep eye contact with the coyote while backing away.
Give the coyote space to leave – make sure to leave a path to exit and plenty of space.
If the animal behaves aggressively, make yourself as large as possible while throwing rocks and branches towards the animal to scare it away but not aiming at it directly, so as not to make it more aggressive.
Information on living near coyotes is available on the city of Montreal’s website and residents can also call the Info-Coyote line (438-872-COYO).