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Lethbridge man and his dog have close encounter with coyote

Click to play video 'Lethbridge man and his dog have close encounter with coyote' Lethbridge man and his dog have close encounter with coyote
WATCH ABOVE: It was quite the encounter between a Lethbridge city councilor, his dog and a coyote Wednesday morning and it was all caught on tape. Quinn Campbell reports – Apr 15, 2020

Ryan Parker and his dog Peter were out for their daily walk on a path near Paradise Canyon when it turned into a heart-pumping experience.

“Coyote just comes flying out, right out of the blue right to us, stops us pretty much — startled us,” Parker said.

“I thought, ‘Oh my this is kind of neat,’ thinking like most coyotes, it would just run away.”

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Parker is a Lethbridge city councillor and said he usually starts his day with a long walk and enjoys seeing the different wildlife in his area, however, the coyote he encountered was being aggressive and following him and his dog.

“If we ran, he would just run faster. I had to videotape it because it was so surreal,” he said.

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Jessica Deacon-Rogers with the Helen Schuler Nature Centre said chances are, the coyote was being protective of a den in the area.

“At this time of year, in the spring, it is a time of year like with all animals, that they are looking to protect their young and they may be a bit more aggressive than other times of years as well,” he said.

Deacon-Rogers said the increase in foot traffic on city paths during the COVID-19 pandemic is also stirring up wildlife.

“With having lots and lots of people outside, in all sorts of places, at many times of day when we wouldn’t normally have seen people, coyotes may be also getting pushed into areas where they wouldn’t normally be seen, so the coyote may be in an area it isn’t usually and it is also uncomfortable,” he said.

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Parker said he spoke with city staff and signs warning of a coyote in the area will be posted.

He said this close encounter is also a good reminder to keep dogs on a leash whenever people are not in designated off-leash areas.