By Josh Howald
Coyotes are invading Willow West.
The Municipality of Kincardine and the Owen Sound office of the Ministry of Natural Resources confirmed Monday they have been received numerous complaints regarding coyotes in the subdivision at the south end of Kincardine.
Willow West resident Jennifer Hunsburger said in an E-mail that she has seen the animals on numerous occasions, and was circled by one as she walked her dog at the end of Park Street on Jan. 3. The same day, a neighbour spotted a coyote running down the middle of Murray Blvd. in front of their home. Yet another coyote was spotted Jan. 4 standing in the middle of Kincardine Ave. and Fraser Street (the entrance to Willow West). Another reader stopped in to say they had seen coyotes near the edge of the road as well on Jan. 4. There has also been a coyote sightings in Tiverton, near the community centre.
Municipal staff said they were aware of the issue, and have been referring people to the Owen Sound office of the Ministry of Natural Resources. However, Katie Gee, a biologist with the MNR, said while citizens have, the municipality has not reported any problems regarding wolves in the region. She did offer some tips on avoiding coyote conflicts.
Coyotes are usually wary of humans and avoid people whenever possible, said the MNR, though that certainly isn’t the case in Willow West. It appears the coyotes are no longer intimidated by people, which puts animals at risk. They should never be approached, and never, ever fed.
If you do encounter a coyotes, keep your distance. If it becomes aggressive there are several things to know. Never approach or touch a coyote, or turn your back on – or run from – a coyote. Back away slowly while remaining calm, and stand tall while waving your hands and making as much noise as you can. Carry a flashlight at night to scare off coyotes, and it one poses an immediate threat or danger to public safety, call 911.