A Calgary father is concerned about his family’s safety after coyotes began denning under his backyard shed in the community of Renfrew.
“I’ve been told just not to go up there. I haven’t stepped foot [out there] in months,” Mike Thomson said.
Thomson said he first spotted the adult coyotes last winter wandering in the green space that his yard backs onto.
He said he reported the animals to 311 several times but nothing was done and then the pups were born.
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“We’ve seen the adults right down by our house,” Thomson said. “There’s two adults and we believe seven pups, so that’s nine in total.”
To make matters worse, Thomson said that someone has been leaving food out for the coyotes and believes the animals are becoming bolder.
Thomson said bylaw officers have been to the property and sprayed the city-owned green space behind his house with wolf urine but it hasn’t deterred the animals.
“My understanding of the policy, as I’ve been told, is that because they’re on my private property, it’s my problem,” he said.
Thomson said a city subcontractor has also been out to the area and he was initially told the animals would have to be euthanized or moved to a rehab facility, but it would cost Thomson hundreds of dollars.
Now that the pups are older, he fears rehabilitation is no longer an option.
“I don’t think this should be on me, that I’m responsible for everyone’s safety,” Thomson said.
“I think that I’m just in a bit of a loophole with the city’s policy.”
The province said fish and wildlife officers are mandated primarily to respond to incidents involving bears, cougars or moose.
“This incident would be the responsibility of the City of Calgary,” Lisa Glover, a senior communications adviser with the Alberta government, said in an email to Global News. “But any wildlife emergency or dangerous wildlife situation can be reported to officers.”
The city has requested more information before it can respond specifically to this case, but according to its website, the city does have protocols in place to deal with problem animals.
The city has also put up signs warning people of the coyotes, but Thomson said he believes it’s only a matter of time before someone gets hurt.
“I think it’s only going to get worse, that’s my greatest concern.”
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