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Hey there Coyote

I took the partners for their early morning walk this morning over by the filtration plant. We were walking along the crest of the hill where the kids toboggan in winter, when I heard a car horn. I looked down where the filtration plant folks have some kind of temporary operation going on and saw a coyote a few yards in front of a pick-up truck. The guy in the pick-up honked his horn 2 or 3 times and it looked to me as if the driver was honking at the coyote. The dogs and I were watching this, confident the coyote was both far away and behind a high fence.

Coyote then trotted toward the corner of the filtration plant fence nearest the leash-free area, and continued right through the handy hole in the fence to the other side. It then looked up at us and decided to come check us out. By that I mean it trotted directly toward us. We backed away as Coyote crested the hill appearing maybe 40 feet from us. Coyote was lean but aside from a mangy coat, appeared quite healthy. It stood its ground as we walked away and didn’t follow us further. Unfortunately I didn’t have my phone with me on the walk, but even if I did, I’m not sure I would have taken the time to take a photo. The dogs were pretty excited and wanted to go chase Coyote, but I just wanted to get us out of their without any trouble.

This marks the second time a coyote has approached us in the very same spot. Coyote was neither shy nor scared of us. Instead, I would characterize its behaviour as curious. Look at the big dogs! Better keep these characters out of my space.

There are a number of coyotes around. I’ve seen them several times in the park and also occasionally on neighbourhood streets. I suspect they wander the streets more often than we know. As far as I know there have not been any nasty interactions with these animals around here. I’m none-the-less cautious around them, conscious of the incident a few years ago when a hiker was killed by coyotes in Cape Breton. These are after all wild animals who kill for a living, and while Sam Smith Park offers lots of food opportunities (mice, possum, water birds, bunnies and so on), avoidance seems the sensible approach.

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