Man attacked by coyote two nights in a row in Riverside South
OTTAWA -- Warnings continue for the community of Riverside South after the city received multiple calls regarding coyote attacks, including one man who was attacked two nights in a row.
George Bayne describes his experience as terrifying. In the early morning of May 30, he was attacked by a coyote.
The 74-year-old retired graphic designer took to delivering papers, something to keep him busy. The community of Riverside South has been on his route for 10 years now.
"I was walking up this driveway," he says, pointing to a house on Giant Cedars Crescent. "All of a sudden I feel this pain on my ankle I don't know what it is but I looked down and there's a huge coyote busy gnawing on my ankle."
He yelled at the coyote and threw a newspaper at it. Flustered, he missed. Either way the coyote didn't seem to care. He ran onto the porch of the home and grabbed a broom that was resting against the mailbox.
"I was screaming and yelling and swinging the broom," he says. The coyote then backed off towards the road. He made a run for his car.
"And he took a run at me as I was going to my vehicle I got in and he started circling the vehicle like he really wanted to get at me."
Bayne was able to drive to the hospital where he received stitches to his right ankle, antibiotics, and a barrage of rabies shots.
The following night, Bayne was back on the job and attacked again, this time on Canyon Walk Drive off of Spratt Road. He says that night he didn't leave his car, instead throwing the papers to the doorstep.
At one of his stops he opened his car door to chuck the paper when he saw what he says is the same coyote, heading towards him. He got back in his car to drive off and he was followed for blocks.
A woman was also attacked that night near a strip mall at the intersection. Police searches for the animal were unsuccessful.
There were more calls to police about similar incidents in the previous week. So far, their have been no daytime attacks.
Greg Hewitt lives a few doors down from where Bayne was attacked. A resident of this street for 15 years now, he says coyotes have always been around and that normally they co-exist. His security cameras do pickup coyotes walking down the street from time to time, at night.
"It's a concern too because shortly afterwards I see people walking by," he says. "And you know they could be prone to attack if that's what the coyotes are doing now."
Coun. Carol Anne Meehan says the problem falls under the provincial ministry of natural resources, but they don't have the personnel required to deal with the problem.
For nearly three weeks, Meehan has rallied for help. Ottawa Bylaw Services have now stepped in.
"They've hired a trapper who's going to take a look and see where this animal may be and what the situation is," she said. "We want to resolve this so nobody gets hurt the bottom line is that this is public safety ... if the threat is there we have to take a serious look at it."
This is the time of year when coyotes are caring for cubs and there could be a den nearby, but there's no clear answer to why they're being so aggressive.
Some tips to avoid interactions include:
- stay off forest paths and trails from dusk until dawn
- don't leave food out
- make sure garbage is contained
And if you do find yourself face-to-face with a coyote:
- Do not run, this could trigger their instinct to attack
- Stand your ground
- Wave your hands and yell
It's also good practice to keep watch over children and small animals. If you see a coyote, call 311. If you feel there's an imminent threat, call police.