A pair of coyotes spotted in Calgary’s southeast community of New Brighton has local wildlife enthusiasts raising concerns over how close the animals are getting to the city.
Local photographer Chris Gibbs captured pictures of the duo walking on the frozen New Brighton Pond.
He believes that people and the animals are getting too comfortable with each other.
“When they started to track people, you know that’s different,” Gibbs said, adding that residents need to give coyotes space.
“We can leave them alone and walk around the pond, and as long as they’re not being aggressive, I think we’re fine.”
A park and St. Marguerite Elementary School border the pond the animals were spotted near. These sightings plus recent coyote attacks has Gibbs worried.
“With the Airdrie issues, [coyotes] are biting kids,” said Gibbs. “We’re a little too close for comfort.”
Wildlife scientist Brian Horejsi said more needs to be done to build a buffer zone between humans and animals — this is crucial as the city continues to grow.
“Ideally, we would continue to provide places where we could separate these animals from us,” said Horejsi. “We’re not doing that well but that would be the long-term objective.”
Gibbs wants to see people educate their kids about how to properly coexist with wildlife. He said it’s even more important on the outskirts of Calgary.
“There were kids I saw Saturday at the playground,” he said. “They were like, ‘Puppies, puppies,’ and they started running towards them. I actually had to say, ‘Stay back. They’re not puppies.’”
The City of Calgary recommends that all coyote sightings be reported to 311.