Calgary’s coyote concerns continue to dog city council

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Calgary’s coyote concerns continue to dog city council
WATCH ABOVE: Some city officials are concerned with the response from Alberta Fish and Wildlife about coyotes in Calgary. As Carolyn Kury de Castillo reports, a house in Edgemont recently became a home to a family of coyotes and chased people who live on the street – Jun 12, 2017

City officials are concerned with the response from Alberta Fish and Wildlife to what’s being called a growing coyote problem in Calgary.

While some pathways have been closed to allow the animals to raise their pups in dens, there were concerns from residents in the Edgemont neighbourhood when a den was set up under the stoop of a home.

Residents have reported being chased by coyotes, so the city contacted its provincial counterparts, but city officials say they didn’t get a response to the degree they wished.

Ian Simister is one of the residents who’s had a first-hand experience with a coyote. He told Global News the animal was “very, very aggressive.”

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Residents in Edgemont have reported being chased by aggressive coyotes who have set up a den in the area. Courtesy / Karen Ung

“(The coyote’s) teeth were bared. The hair was up and he chased us, just literally chased us,” Simister said. “We called Fish and Wildlife and they just simply said: ‘Don’t worry about it.’”

After getting permission from the property owner, the city moved in and boarded up the den with rocks and mesh to force the coyotes out.

Calgary city officials set up a rock and fencing at the stoop of an Edgebrook Drive home that became the den for coyotes. Global Calgary

Kurt Hanson, general manager of community services, said part of the issue over the province’s response is that it normally doesn’t want to come into the city, even though this falls under its jurisdiction.

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“We do have concerns with the protocols with regards to the responsiveness by the province, Fish and Wildlife,” Hanson told council Monday. “We’ve got, as well, documentation back and forth.”

“We’re kind of in a conundrum because we understand the safety issue and that’s why we actually acted,” he said. “But it’s also something we would like them to fulfill their obligations on, as well, on an ongoing basis.”

Click to play video: 'More pathway closures after coyotes get more aggressive'
More pathway closures after coyotes get more aggressive

WATCH ABOVE: More warnings following an increase in coyote attacks in parts of Calgary. City officials have closed a massive greenspace after reports the animals are killing small dogs. Jill Croteau’s report from May 25, 2017.

However, in a statement to Global News, Alberta Fish and Wildlife said under current legislation, it’s the city’s job to take the necessary measures to control issues involving different animals, including coyotes. The statement also said Fish and Wildlife officers are working city officials to provide advice to help deal with the issue.

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“What can we do?” Coun. Sean Chu asked, wondering if it was time for the mayor’s office to send a letter to the provincial ministry in charge to get something done.

Hanson is hoping to meet with senior bureaucrats from the province to address the issue.

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