Calgary Community Warned of Coyote Family

by Jennifer Smith May 17, 2019

Passersby hoping to get a glimpse of a newborn coyote litter in northwest Calgary are advised to keep their gawking to a minimum, city officials say.

A litter of coyote pups and their mom have made a sandstone wall beside a busy road in Arbour Lake their home — which is why Chris Manderson, urban conservation lead with the City of Calgary, says they are keeping a close eye on the family.

"The really important thing is please give them space," he said.  

"We don't want to get them comfortable with humans being around, and if we crowd them they may start to get used to that and our experience has been that we get problems with aggression down the road."

He said where the coyotes have made their home is slightly concerning, as the odds of them interacting with people is higher.

Their mom is also nearby and watching, and defensive of her babies, Manderson said.

The community itself has a high number of coyotes, he said.

"Certainly this past winter we've been aware of a number of calls, we've been out here checking on coyotes, so we know there's a bit of an issue here," he said.

"What we'll probably do is once this site is cleared, we'll have a look at whether or not we should close this particular area. Make it a little more inhospitable for them. The hope being that they'll move on and find another place to set up shop."

Biologist and coyote researcher Victoria Lukasik says it's better for the pack of pups if they can move out on their own volition.

She said the coyotes may have made the busy stretch of road their home because of development, or another factor that made them feel that their usual denning area wasn't safe

She hopes the coyotes will move to a more secluded area soon.

"They need to be able to feel safe to do that move, that's the ideal way right — that's the way we can increase the chances of being successful and decrease the chances of conflict."

Story re-posted from CBC News.

Jennifer Smith
Jennifer Smith