Councillor demands action to deal with coyote attacks in Riverside South, Manotick
Ottawa councillor Carol Anne Meehan is installing signs along area paths to warn trail users coyotes are nearby. Ottawa, ON. June 11, 2020. (Tyler Fleming / CTV News Ottawa)
OTTAWA -- Coyote attacks have been reported in Riverside South and on Friday morning, another attack was reported in Barrhaven.
Now, the area Councillor is calling for action as increased sightings and attacks are leaving a community on edge.
It is a harrowing tale of a pup with some luck. Ricardo Piccoli and his wife were walking their dog with some friends around 10 p.m. Wednesday evening when chaos broke loose.
"We were right here," Piccoli says. Pointing at the ground at the intersection of Golden Springs Drive and Summerhill Street.
"I was thinking it was another dog coming to attack him and he defended himself and he started to run away and then we saw it was a coyote."
The coyote brushed by Piccoli as the dog ran. He says it was really big. The group of four began to scream and yell and the coyote ran away. A lucky ending, for a dog named Lucky.
Attacks and sightings are on the rise in the Riverside South community. Tuesday night a man was bitten by a coyote near Spratt Road and Goldeneye Way, he was not injured.
And on Thursday morning, Carol Anne Meehan was woken up just before 7 a.m. by woman whose dog was being attacked on a trail near Beryl Gaffney Park. Meehan lives nearby.
"The coyote grabbed the dogs head and she started to scream it just so happened a cyclist with a large dog came by and scared the coyote off," Meehan says. "There's something wrong with this animal and police came to the scene very, very quickly they were unable to locate him though"
Before Ottawa Police arrived on scene, Meehan was able to get video of the animal on the trail. It didn't seem frightened, and even laid down.
In her more than 30 years living in the area, she says she's never seen this behaviour before.
During her interview, she was holding a sign that she was placing along the path in the park, warning others who are using the trails that there are coyotes in the area and to not approach them. Others have done the same.
While police have increased patrols in the area, there have been challenges in removing the canines. Ottawa Bylaw Services has stepped in to hire a wildlife specialist to trap the coyote.
There has also been confusion as to who is responsible for the animals. Carleton MPP Goldie Ghamari says it is not the Ontario Government’s jurisdiction, the problem is on city land, but she has been following the issue and the Ministry of Natural Resources has reached out.
"This is a municipal issue," Ghamari says. "The ministry's role is to provide guidance counselling and information and we've done that right from the beginning."
But for many residents the problem has gone on too long and Meehan, who has been working to remove the coyotes for three weeks, says she wants a more clear plan.
"But after all this is said and done and the threat is removed from the community I'm going to be demanding a meeting between the Ministry of Natural Resources, NCC, Bylaw, police, public health because we have to have a long-term solution."