Sam Andrews is a regular at the Peterborough Golf and Country Club course, and said he’s never spotted a coyote on the greens – until Friday.
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“Well we saw a little bit of wildlife out there today,” Andrews said Friday. “A coyote was walking right down by the eighth green. We were all pretty surprised to see that.
“There’s typically lots of wildlife out here, lots of deer and gofers and that type of thing, but it’s the first time I’ve seen a coyote out here.”
Dylan Radcliffe, president of Peterborough Field Naturalists, says there have been an increase in the number of sightings for coyotes, foxes, raccoons, chipmunks, foxes and skunk around Peterborough over the last few years.
“They’ve spent the spring raising their young and now they’re starting to stray further and further from their dens or nests and trying to find alternative sources of food,” said Radcliffe.
But that’s just one factor.
Radcliffe says there could be many reasons to the wildlife explosion including global warming, time of year, and major disturbance in the natural landscape.
WATCH (Nov. 13, 2018): Coyote sightings on the rise in Peterborough city limits
“Up at Trent the Lily Lake subdivision, in addition to a forest just a block away from here, and the loggerhead marsh sub-division, they’ve all experienced dramatic alteration in the sense that they’ve been clear cut for the purpose of a new housing development, which means that some of these animals might have actually been displaced,” said Radcliffe.
Peterborough resident Debbie Halstead lives in Peterborough’s north end and said she is frustrated with the nightly noise coming from the coyotes living in her backyard.
“I’m even afraid to come out, they howl so loud, they will wake the kids up whether its 1:30 in the morning, three in the morning,” said Halstead. “More recently there was pups and there have been two or three pups that have come around at least every day for the last six days.”
But exactly how dangerous are coyotes?
Radcliffe says they are harmless compared to other natural forces we face in our day-to-day lives.
“The biggest risk you face is possibly getting nipped by a coyote, and every year three to four people I think experience some sort of coyote interaction that way on average in Canada, which is incredible considering the fact that you stand a greater chance being struck by lighting,” said Radcliffe.
But for your pets, an encounter could be deadly. You’re advised to keep all animals indoors if you spot a coyote especially if you live in these highlighted areas below.
The map below, created by Radcliffe, showcases coyote sightings in November 1 and December 31, 2018 for a citizen science project. Over 120 coyote sightings were submitted to Radcliffe from the community and were published to his website at stewardsnotes.ca last year.
Meanwhile, Halstead says she’s putting the safety of her family first and hopes something is done about the regular visitors, sooner rather than later.
“Sorry if it disrupts some coyotes; they can keep moving out to the country, not where my kids play.”
Halstead says a trapper contacted her and said if he had permission from the city he could live trap them and take them some place else.
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