Cohabitation through education - City holds coyote information session

Coyotes are one of the hot topics in Montreal lately, and they were front and center for an information session in Ahuntsic-Cartierville.

Residents near some of the boroughs parks have been on edge since the news that at least three people, including a child as young as three, were attacked last week. Many are calling on the city to do more to protect the local children.

"We want them to relocate the coyotes or to euthanize them, it's that simple," resident Carlos D'Anello told CTV Montreal. "If you're going to euthanize a dog for biting somebody, there's no logic in saying 'you know what, we're going to leave the coyotes be because they're part of the ecosystem' and so on and so forth. The threat has to be taken care of."

However, the City said it's not going to punish all of Montreal's coyotes for the actions of what it believes is one or two brazen. Officials said relocating the coyotes would not work, because the urban animals would not survive in the country. 

Tuesday evening residents and their children gathered in Parc des Hirondelles to meet with experts who showed the differences between coyotes, foxes and wolves and spoke about the behaviour of the animal.

The City is hoping giving residents more information can help people and the wild canines to co-exist.

"There were children playing soccer near where the coyote was walking, passing through, and they decided to chase after it," said resident Rebecca Nocitifarella. "The coyote started to get frantic. I just wish children would understand more how to deal with the wildlife." 

Several measures have recently been implemented, including: motion detecting cameras, traps and a hazing campaign.

"Since July 26, for seven days, they are in four parks," said borough Mayor Émilie Thuillier. "From 8:00 P.M. to midnight [patrols] are yelling, they are scaring the coyotes that perhaps might be in the park."

The City is hoping to be able to trap and identify the coyote(s) involved in the recent attacks and euthanize them.

As for the others, officials said coyotes have been living in Montreal for decades and co-habitation has been possible. The problem now is that more and more people are feeding the animals, something the borough is hoping to crack down on.