Coyote sightings around the province are prompting officials to remind Nova Scotians of steps to take to discourage wildlife from scavenging near homes and what to do should they encounter a coyote.
Department of Natural Resources offices have received a record number of calls regarding coyotes from people.
"Education is most important," said Mike O'Brien, Natural Resources wildlife biologist. "We must encourage our children and neighbours to follow these guidelines and keep in mind, coyotes are wild animals and deserve our respect."
Coyotes prefer wild foods but will scavenge for food when hungry. This includes outdoor garbage, compost, pet foods, waste around retail or commercial businesses and handouts from people. Feeding coyotes makes them less fearful of people and eating food provided by people.
To discourage coyotes from scavenging near homes people should:
-- keep property free of unsecured garbage, especially if it contains food waste
-- clean-up spilled bird seed around bird feeders
-- do not feed pets outdoors
-- keep compost bins secured
-- keep small pets indoors or supervised when on a leash
If you encounter a coyote:
-- do not feed, touch, or photograph the animal
-- leave the area by slowly backing away while remaining calm. Do not turn and run
-- use personal alarm devices to frighten the animal
-- encourage the animal to leave by providing space
-- if animal exhibits aggressive behaviour, try to appear to be larger and noisier or throw sticks and rocks
-- fight back aggressively if the animal attacks
"It's important for us to realize that the risk of attack and injury from coyotes is extremely low," said Mr. O'Brien. "While recently we had a tragic event in Cape Breton, we have to remember that in the 30 years that coyotes have been in Nova Scotia only a few incidents have been reported."
Bounties have been tried across North America, however they have always been unsuccessful in reducing coyote populations. A bounty was initiated in Nova Scotia in 1982 and was removed in 1986 when it was determined to have no impact on population.
Local Department of Natural Resources offices should be contacted where nuisance wildlife are creating a concern for human safety, destruction of property, or a diseased or injured animal is found. A list of local offices can be found at: http://www.gov.ns.ca/natr/staffdir/offices.asp
For more information, visit: http://www.gov.ns.ca/natr/wildlife/nuisance/coyotes-faq.asp
FOR BROADCAST USE:
Coyote sightings around the province are prompting officials
to remind Nova Scotians of steps they should take to discourage
animals from scavenging near homes and what to do should they
encounter a coyote.
Natural Resources wildlife biologist Mike O'Brien says the
risk of attack and injury from coyotes is extremely low.
In addition to not feeding coyotes, Nova Scotians should
always back away slowly while remaining calm if they encounter a
Media Contact: Jacqueline Parker