Coyotes ‘almost impossible to catch,’ says wildlife expert

After another string of coyote sightings and the gruesome discovery of a dismembered cat paw, residents are more concerned than ever for the safety of their pets.

Within a period of one week, Beach resident Lorna Houston claimed her neighbours had reported four different sightings near her home on Norway Avenue and Elmer Road, one of which ended in tragedy.

“I was the one who found the paw of the cat,” she said.

The cat had belonged to her neighbour. Their only hope after finding what was left of the pet was “that it went quickly,” she said.

With stories like the one above circulating around the Beach, some are still questioning why more hasn’t been done.

Tammy Robbinson, who works with Animal Services at the City of Toronto, explained that “usually the city won’t step in other than education unless the coyote has harmed or bitten a human.”

And with regard to catching the coyote, there are two big problems, said Nathalie Karvonen of the Toronto Wildlife Centre. “One is that they are almost impossible to catch. Almost impossible.”

“If you recall with the Neville Park coyote situation there were attempts for months and months to catch that coyote. They hired a trapper, Toronto Animal Services was on the job 24/7, and they never caught it. And they spent huge amounts of money and they never caught it,” she continued.

“And then number two, even if you could catch the coyote, it still doesn’t change the fact that the habitat is perfect coyote habitat. It is a ravine system, it does connect to another system and it is exactly the area where coyotes should be living,” she said.

Karvonen added that even if they were able to catch the coyote, residents should be aware that they would only do so in an effort to treat it if it was sick and release it back in the Beach once its health had improved.

This action “is actually required by law,” she said.

When it comes to pets, experts say the best method for dealing with these coyotes is to be vigilant in supervising them.

Elizabeth Glibbery from Toronto Animal Services said, “people [need to] be on the alert that there are coyotes that live in that area, that have lived in that area for decades, and that they’re not to leave their small pets out unsupervised.”

“Bottom line though,” said Glibbery. “As soon as a coyote becomes threatening to a human, they’re to call 911 immediately and police will respond.”


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This is ridiculous. Our children and pets are not coyote food. Coyotes can be hunted and trapped in significant numbers by a experienced and knowledgeable hunter, and they have been for hundreds of years. It does require time, skill and persistence. There are millions of coyotes in the wild in the US and Canada, but the urban coyotes, which are large, bold and accustomed to man must be removed and this can be done without making the wilderness coyotes go extinct! Animal rights activists and government bureaucrats sitting in their offices do not get to make life and death decisions about our pets. I did not agree to feed my pet to coyote and neither has anyone else I know. The urban coyotes must be removed.

Nathalie Karvonen is no ‘wildlife expert’.

In 2009 there were 47,340 coyotes trapped in Canada. How does that make them ‘almost impossible to catch’?
She says that Toronto Animal Services attempted to catch the Neville Park Coyote for months and failed. She fails to say that if the trapper that was hired was allowed to do his job without the interference of various agencies he would have succeeded. Unfortunately that trapper was forced to attempt to catch the coyote in a wire cage trap. This is not how coyotes are trapped.
She also says the habitat is ‘perfect coyote habitat’. Yes, it has a food supply provided by humans, and it takes our pets within our neighbourhood. This habitat is far from perfect for a coyote, and the humans that own the properties clearly aren’t welcome from her viewpoint.
The Toronto Animal Services manager E Glibbery goes on to say that coyotes have ‘lived in that area for decades’. Wrong. We have lived here for 22 years and about 10 years ago the coyotes appeared. Further, there is no true ‘ravine’, and it is not connected to another habitat system. The area is a collection of wooded back yards, some fenced, some not, and it is an ‘island’ separated from other green areas by streets.
Once again the ‘wildlife experts’ are displaying their lack of expertise and knowledge, and ignoring the public safety issues that these habituated animals represent.

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