Ward 1 Report, March 2018 March 2018, Ward 1 Report. - Page 14

Calgary's natural spaces are part of what makes our communities unique. Many of us appreciate the abundance of green spaces within the city limits where we can enjoy nature and for a little while, remove ourselves from the bustle of the city.

Enjoying those special places brings a responsibility—we must realize we share these spaces with other creatures, some of which can be dangerous on occasion.

Coyotes are one such species. They exist within Calgary and residents need to be aware of their presence and what to do if they are encountered. Because of several factors, coyotes are not necessarily staying in traditional natural areas—they are present in many urban areas within the city. This may be happening because they are finding food sources within the city and are not discouraged from utilizing those sources.

Although coyotes mainly feed on small mammals such as mice and rats, they will attack domestic pets. Coyotes are generally no threat to people but should be treated with respect and never approached or fed. People with small children should be especially careful with their children around animals.

While there have been reports of coyotes attacking people, these attacks are extremely rare.

Coyotes are part of our urban wildlife and should be enjoyed, but from a safe distance.

The Alberta government is responsible for wildlife management. The City of Calgary is providing this information as a public service.

Coyote awareness

Coyotes are not usually dangerous to people. A potential exception is if they become habituated to people and lose their natural fear.

What to do if you see a coyote?

Coyotes are common in Calgary. Keep your dog leashed at all times, and pick up children or small dogs if a coyote is spotted. If you are in a remote location and spot a coyote, leave the area immediately. Never leave food in your yard, even pet food, and avoid hanging bird feeders that contain lard or suet.

Who should you call regarding coyotes?

• In an emergency situation where there is immediate danger, call 9-1-1.

• For non-emergency situations and to report coyote sightings or injured coyote sightings, please call 311 or report online.