Coyotes create den in urban community in northwest Calgary

FILE PHOTO - Coyote pups seen peeking out of their den in northwest Calgary. Global News

A group of coyotes has found a new home in the northwest community of Evanston.

Calgary Parks‘ urban conservation lead Chris Manderson said the city is monitoring the coyote den after receiving several reports of aggressive behavior from the animals.

“We’ve been out monitoring the den for a few weeks now,” Manderson said. “We think there about six or seven pups and a pair of adults.

“This is a busy time of year for coyotes that have pups, the pups are more active and they’ll be out of the den a bit more often.”

Manderson said coyotes typically give birth in April and the animals are seen out and about with their pups more often during this time of the year

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Manderson noted coyotes are very comfortable in urban settings and can often be seen in different communities in the city. However, he added the den in Evanston has created some concern as many dogs are walked in the area.

“It’s an on-leash area but we’re hearing there’s a lot of off-leash dogs,” he said. “Coyotes often perceive a dog as a threat or, depending on its size, prey.”

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“Dogs running free can cause problems,” he added.

Dr. Shelley Alexander with the department of geography at the University of Calgary has been studying coyotes for more than 15 years. She noted that while interactions with the animals are usually positive, coyotes tend to show more aggression when they feel their young pups could be in danger.

“If a den area is active, then stay away,” Alexander said.

“Do not walk in, over or around it. The parent coyotes or caregiver coyotes will be very protective of the young pups.”

Alexander added the denning season for coyotes usually lasts from April until July.

Click to play video: 'What to do if you see a coyote in Calgary'
What to do if you see a coyote in Calgary

Manderson said Evanston’s newest tenants are being monitored by conservation specialists, with the hopes that the animals will move their den to a less populated area.

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“What we hope is that they find a place that’s a little more isolated,” he said. “We also have signs up, making people aware that there’s a coyote in the area. We are trying to manage the issue right.”

Officials said coyotes are generally curious creatures, however, if one does approach you, you should make yourself look bigger and slowly back away from the situation.

“We see coyotes appearing in places very close to people all the time. They’ve figured out how to be around people,” Manderson said.

“The vast majority of the time you see them it’s a positive experience, they’re very curious, they pay attention to you and want to know what you’re doing, but if it is approaching you, don’t run away.”

Manderson said coyote numbers in the city are monitored through reported sightings from the public to the city’s 311 service. He encourages anyone who sees a coyote, even if it’s not being aggressive, to report it to the city so officials can get an accurate read on wildlife numbers in Calgary.

More information on how to effectively manage coyote interactions can be found on the city’s website.


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