March 29, 2019 8:24 pm

What’s the best way to co-exist with coyotes? Calgary councillor wants to explore options

WATCH: A Calgary city councillor said he wants city administration to look into better ways of co-existing with coyotes. Ward 4 councillor Sean Chu said he's seeing more and more complaints about the animals. Christa Dao reports.

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A Calgary city councillor says officials need more options on co-existing with coyotes, as sightings in the city have been increasing.

Ward 4 councillor Sean Chu said he will be raising the coyote issue next month — asking staff to look at deterrents other than hazing.

Chu said residents are telling him they are seeing more sightings adding he’s hearing more complaints about encounters.

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“I will ask them to work together with the University of Calgary,” Chu said Friday. “This professor [that I have spoken to] who has done research with coyotes… [he] told me we don’t have to do hazing. There are other ways to do it, so let’s let the city administration work with them together.”

READ MORE: ‘Wile E. Coyote… having a bad day’: Camera catches B.C. house cat making short work of predator

According to Calgary Parks urban conservation lead Chris Manderson, while it’s unclear if coyote numbers are actually increasing, the number of recorded sightings are.

“We know that killing coyotes to reduce population does not work, in fact, it does the opposite,” Manderson said. “We know we will always have some measure of conflicts and that’s brought on by attractants or pets.

“The coyotes, or at least some of them, learn to associate us with food or threats,” he said. “Things like picking up after your pet when you’re in a park, keeping your dog on leash in the on-leash areas, are so important because those are the triggers for aggression cycle to start.”

READ MORE: 2 attacks on humans prompt ‘brazen’ coyote warning from City of Airdrie

According to Manderson, in 2018, there were 1,300 calls to 311. About 10 per cent of those calls were about aggressive coyotes.

He said the city is actively looking at ways of managing and minimizing coyote conflicts.

Chu said he would also like to see more enforcement at parks to ensure everyone cleans up after their pet. Anyone who spots a coyote is asked to report it to the city by calling 311.

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