Coyote-sighting shuts down national historic site trails

The trails at Skmaqn-Port La Joye-Fort Amherst, a national historic site on Charlottetown Harbour, are closed after a pair of coyotes followed a person who was walking there.

Animals may be protecting pups

The trails at Skmaqn-Port La Joye-Fort Amherst are closed until further notice. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

The trails at Skmaqn-Port La Joye-Fort Amherst, a national historic site on Charlottetown Harbour, are closed after a pair of coyotes followed a person who was walking there.

Resource management officer Hailey Lambe said closing the trails is a safety precaution. Parks Canada believes the coyotes could have pups they are protecting.

"It could be that they're just curious. The visitor might have been downwind from them and they caught the smell and were wondering what it was," said Lambe.

Parks Canada believes the coyotes may be protecting young. (Bryce Hoye/CBC)

"There's also the possibility that because there's a den they're being extra-protective of their young. They may display a little aggression if they're feeling threatened. So we just want to see, if there might be a den in that area, that might be able to explain that behaviour."

Lambe said often coyotes will move their den if there's too much traffic in the area.

Parks Canada will continue to monitor the situation, and they have no estimate of when the trails might reopen.

Lambe says this is normal behaviour from the coyotes.

"We're not at the point where we'd say it's bold right now. It's pretty natural," Lambe said.

"People need to be aware that coyotes are all across the Island. So this is not unusual for them to be in an area like this."

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With files from Laura Chapin