A north Edmonton family is shocked to find half a dozen coyote pups had turned their back deck into a safe haven.
Peter Sykora’s family has lived in the Bergman neighbourhood for nearly three decades. They’re used to seeing deer, skunks, rabbits and coyotes in the community — but not up close and personal.
Sykora’s first encounter happened in February.
“I had three, full-grown, beautiful-looking coyotes literally just hanging out in my backyard.”
He thought it was strange, but didn’t pay the coyotes too much attention. Then, on June 4, he had another visitor in his yard.
“She put it down and, well, said rabbit really started bouncing around and — oh God, it’s a little puppy.”
The family soon saw two more coyote pups that crawled out from under the family’s deck. A few days later, a fourth pup made an appearance. That was followed by a fifth and a sixth.
Sykora’s daughter has a German Shepherd. He’s been staying at her boyfriend’s house while the chaos in the backyard ensues. He visited one day and the family forgot his water bowl outside.
“Next morning I wake up and there’s six of them drinking out of the water bowl,” Sykora said.
The pups appear to be scavenging through the alley for food, sneaking through holes in the fence.
“I saw one come in the back with a watermelon rind and they all came around chewing it and eating it.”
The family was worried the mom could react aggressively around her pups, so they reached out to the City of Edmonton for help relocating them to a safe space.
“The phone call goes, ‘Well sir, we don’t really do anything about coyotes because it’s their natural habitat — blah blah blah, but you can phone this other agency,'” Sykora recounted.
He said that other agency couldn’t help him either, and actually directed him back to the city. So he decided to just leave the pups alone and continue to watch them run around his yard while he drinks his coffee.
“It’s a break in my day. It makes me kind of smile.”
Sykora’s daughter was able to find a wildlife rescue group that offered to help the family should they encounter any problems.
“They can give us some wolf pee to spray in the yard,” Sykora said. “This way, as soon as mom smells the wolf pee, she’ll come in and get them out of here for sure. Or they can come and live-trap them and relocate them to the country.”
But he’s hopeful the pups will just grow up a little more and leave on their own terms. He says when that day comes, he’ll be a little sad.