City has 'direct jurisdiction' over wildlife issues and complaints: Councillor Meehan

A coyote in Riverside South. (Photo courtesy: Twitter/MeehanCarolAnne)

Councillor Carol Anne Meehan says residents should call 911 if wildlife pose a public safety issue, but the City of Ottawa will have "direct jurisdiction" over wildlife issues and complaints.

The Gloucester-South Nepean Councillor provided an update on jurisdiction for dealing with coyotes following a series of incidents last month in Riverside South and Manotick.

In her weekly newsletter, Meehan says staff from the Ministry of Natural Resources, Ottawa Police, Ottawa Bylaw and Regulatory Services, Carleton MPP Goldie Ghamari and the Riverside South Community Association recently took part in a virtual meeting with Councillors to develop an official policy to deal with aggressive animal incidents.

Meehan says that if an animal poses a public safety issue, like attacking humans, the first call is to 911 for police assistance.

All other calls for wildlife go to 311, which will result in a response from Ottawa Bylaw officers if needed.

Meehan says an information campaign will be launched in the coming months about how to deal with wildlife.

In June, Meehan demanded action from municipal and provincial officials after a series of coyote attacks in Riverside South and Manotick. In one incident, a coyote grabbed a little dog being walked by its owner. Earlier in the week, Ottawa Police said a man was bitten on the back of the leg by a coyote.

On June 12, Ottawa Police announced a coyote was put down by officers after spotting it prowling around houses near Shoreline Drive and Wildshore Crescent.

Meehan says an official policy for dealing with coyotes will be in place hopefully by the end of the year.