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Ottawa hiring private contractor to track coyotes after dog killed in Riverside Park South


The city of Ottawa is hiring a private contractor to track coyote movement and behaviour in the Riverside Park South area, just days after a family dog died in a coyote attack in the neighbourhood.

Residents have been raising concerns about coyotes moving through the residential neighbourhood in Ottawa's south end this summer, and signs have warned people to be cautious of coyotes when entering McCarthy Park.

River Ward Coun. Riley Brockington says a dog was killed in a coyote attack in the Riverside Park area over the weekend.

"I am aware of the disturbing coyote attack in Riverside Park this weekend, that included killing a dog in the immediate vicinity of humans," Brockington said on Twitter Monday afternoon. "The city does not have a coyote strategy."

In August, one resident reported seeing a coyote walking in the neighbourhood with a "poor kitty in its mouth."

Brockington urged residents to keep cats indoors and all dogs on a leash as the city looks at options to deal with the coyote.

Riverside Park Community Association President Ro West says it's "absolutely heartbreaking" to hear a neighbour had their dog killed in a coyote attack over the weekend.

"I think it's escalating, partially because of the construction that's been happening in the hydro corridor which was the hunting ground for the coyotes that live in the McCarthy Woods," West told Newstalk 580 CFRA's Ottawa Now with Kristy Cameron.

West says a tall grass area where coyotes get their food has been covered over with asphalt for the construction workers, and then a meadow in Linton Park has been mowed down for tick and invasive species mitigation.

"So what we're seeing is coyotes running out of places to go get food and they're becoming very aggressive and coming into our neighbourhood, which is really upsetting for all involved because it makes the neighbourhood feel unsafe."

West says a coyote killed her cat last year, and there have been reports of coyotes attacking pets this summer.

"We often see missing cat signs in our neighbourhood and you know that if a cat has gone missing in this neighbourhood it's probably been eaten," West says.

The Riverside Park Community Association is calling on the city of Ottawa to work with Coyote Watch Canada to develop a framework for neighbourhoods to coexist with coyotes.

"Yes we have wildlife in Ottawa but we need to have wildlife safely in Ottawa where they are getting their needs met and they're not coming into spaces that are meant for humans," West says.

"So how do we keep coyotes out of residential areas and keep them where they're supposed to be – in McCarthy Woods, in Sawmill Creek and away from houses and small dogs and cats."

Brockington says the private contractor hired by the city will track coyote movement and recommend "appropriate next steps" the city can take to address the situation. Top Stories

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