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Post-mortem exam shows ‘cats were killed by coyotes’ not people: St. Albert RCMP

Pets that appear to be killed by humans, were likely attacked by coyotes, St. Albert RCMP say.

WARNING: Some of the details in this article are graphic and may be disturbing to some.

Despite pet owners who believe their cats were mutilated by humans, RCMP in St. Albert say even animals that appear “cut open” are usually killed by coyotes.

In a news release Thursday, the RCMP warned it is a “peak time for coyote hunting” and asked pet owners to take precautions to keep small dogs and cats protected.

For the last several years, St. Albert RCMP said they’ve received reports of cats found dead and cut open. In each of 2015 and 2016, officers sent two different cat remains for a necropsy — an autopsy or post-mortem on a non-human body — by the chief veterinarian at the University of Alberta.

“These cats appeared to be cleanly cut open as if by a knife,” RCMP said. “In both cases, the necropsy showed that cats were killed by coyotes and not by any person.”

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RCMP said coyotes will hunt cats, especially when they are training their pups how to hunt and may “leave the cat looking like it was cut open as a way to interest their pups in eating prey.”

READ MORE: Edmonton man distraught after cat attacked: ‘Watch out for each other’s animals’ 

On July 15, an Edmonton man spoke out after his cat was found dead after being attacked.

Don, who did not want his last name used for safety reasons, said he last saw his cat Bebe in the Montrose neighbourhood.

“Some children had found the cat in a field here. Somebody had taken a knife to it and skinned it,” he said.

Edmonton police contacted animal bylaw and said there were indications it was a predator attack and nothing to suggest there was any criminal activity.

WARNING: The pictures in the gallery below might be disturbing to some.

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Don had raised Bebe for eights years. Contributed
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Don and his wife are distraught over Bebe's attack. Contributed
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Don and his wife are distraught over Bebe's attack. Contributed
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Bebe is eight years old, and Don and his wife often let her roam around outside. Contributed

However, on Friday, Fort Saskatchewan RCMP were contacted after remains of a cat were found on a walking trail.

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RCMP said the animal was mutilated and this was the result of “human actions.” They said the cat “was not skinned” but the damage was clearly human caused.

READ MORE: Mutilated cat found dead on walking trail northeast of Edmonton 

To protect pets from coyotes, St. Albert RCMP suggest keeping them indoors, especially from dusk to dawn.

They also asked residents to discourage coyotes from encroaching on their property by keeping yards clean of garbage, meat scraps, pet food left outside, rotting fruit under trees and even suet or birdseed that attract birds.

“With an active coyote population in the city and surrounding areas, the RCMP recommends that residents protect small pets particularly if they are in or near city green spaces,” Cpl. Laurel Kading said. “Keeping them indoors during this peak coyote hunting and pup training time is something that pet owners may have to consider.”

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