City of Airdrie issues warning after two consecutive coyote attacks

Dec 20 2018, 2:27 am

Two coyote attacks within three days of each other have prompted a warning from the City of Airdrie.

Both attacks occurred in the city’s Nose Creek Park where the Airdrie Festival of Lights is being held, and both included children who narrowly escaped injury thanks to thick snow clothing.

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The city posted an official warning to their website on December 18, one day after the most recent attack, urging residents and visitors alike to remain cautious of the animals around the area.

The City of Airdrie is currently in discussion with Fish and Wildlife about their next steps, and the warning explains that the coyote responsible for the December 17 attack had been successfully shot by a paintball gun, “which should make it easier to identify,” according to the website.

Elizabeth Natalie Dawn, the mother to the child who was attacked on Monday, explained in a Facebook post that her son Andrew was unharmed in the incident, though woke up on Tuesday “quite disappointed that he did NOT turn into a coyote while he slept last night.”

The city stated that you should call 9-1-1 if you see a coyote actively attacking a person or pet, or call the Airdrie Parks Department to report coyote sightings.

The website also provided some tips on how to handle coyote encounters, and how to keep your neighbourhood and pets safe:

If you encounter an aggressive coyote:

  • Respond to their presence aggressively by making yourself appear large; wave your arms overhead or throw objects, such as sticks or rocks toward the coyote.
  • Shout in a deep voice and maintain eye contact.
  • If the coyote approaches, back away slowly and move toward buildings or human activity.
  • Do not turn away or run as this may encourage the coyote to chase you.
  • Dog repellents and bear spray products can be effective in deterring coyotes.

Avoid attracting coyotes to your neighbourhood:

  • Do not feed coyotes.
  • Bring in pet food dishes or feed pets inside.
  • Dispose of garbage and compost materials in containers that have secure lids, or keep them in the garage or a shed.
  • Only take your garbage out on collection day.
  • Keep a clean backyard. Remove seeds, fallen fruits, dog feces, and other attractants.

If you spot a coyote in a residential area:

  • If the coyote(s) is ACTIVELY attacking a person or pet, call 9-1-1.
  • For non-emergency situations and to report coyote encounters please contact the Parks Department at [email protected] or 403-948-8400.

Protect your pets:

  • Don’t allow your cat to roam.
  • Supervise your pets when they are outside especially when it’s dark.
  • Pick up dog feces and be aware that dog urine may also attract coyotes.
  • If your dog is in heat, keep it inside or away from areas where they may encounter coyotes.
  • Always walk your dog on a leash.
  • If you spot a coyote, pick up your small dog. Ensure your large dog is leashed and under your control. Back away slowly and leave the area immediately.
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