Coyote sightings appear to be up in Regina Beach.
“At night they’re yipping and they’re howling, and they’re doing their business,” Regina Beach resident Chris Brewer said. “And we see them down in front running around early in the morning.”
Regina Beach resident Marni Zurowski said she spotted a coyote as she was standing at her kitchen window washing dishes.
“It was about five o’clock, and a coyote just casually strolled by on the road,” she said. “It was surprising because it was early.”
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Perry Reavley, owner and operator of Critter Gitter, has received a high number of calls about injured coyotes, which are more likely to be spotted. At least two sightings were by the school, he said.
“If my daughter was going to South Shore School, she wouldn’t be walking by herself.”
“Usually the ones in town either have the mange or are wounded, and so it does make them a lot more dangerous as far as preying on children or pets,” he said.
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“Don’t approach them, make a lot of noise, do anything you can to scare them because they’re survivors. They’re going to do whatever they can to eat,” Reavley said.
When people feed deer in town, it helps attract coyotes, he added.
“Part of the problem is we also had an early freeze up, so the coyotes were able to come across the ice early this year,” he said.
A low mouse population meant coyotes didn’t have other food, and a late start to the deer hunting season meant hunters weren’t shooting coyotes, which added to the problem, he said.
To help fix the problem, Reavley is baiting, tracking and trapping these wily creatures. He puts cameras up to monitor his traps.
“Once I get video of them coming in, then I can put a couple traps, not right at the bait, but close to it, and then I put up my other camera and monitor it,” Reavley said.
The town had no comment on its plan to tackle the problem.
The province said in a statement that conservation officers have not heard of any complaints in the Regina Beach area that required a response. At this point, a coyote bounty program isn’t being considered.
If you encounter a coyote, keep your distance and make noise. If the animal is being aggressive or looks sick, contact the Ministry of Environment at 1-800-667-7561.