Airdrie warns public of brazen coyote after 6-year-old attacked at light festival
Child is safe but disappointed he didn't turn into a werewolf, mom says
The City of Airdrie is warning the public to keep an eye out for a brightly painted coyote that was shot with a paint gun after attacking a six-year-old child at a light festival Monday.
It was the second attack in Nose Creek Park in a matter of days, the city's parks department said in a statement posted to the city's website.
"The parks department is very concerned with the brazenness of the coyote(s) in this area. They are taking immediate action to maintain safety," the statement read.
Airdrie mom Elizabeth Dawn wrote on Facebook that the victim of Monday's attack was her six-year-old son. She said his snowsuit protected him from being injured, and her boyfriend took quick action to kick the animal off the child.
"However, he is a bit upset he has not turned into a werewolf yet," she wrote.
She thanked the city and the Airdrie Festival of Lights Society for quickly clearing the area and keeping attendees at the festival safe following the attack.
Staff to patrol park for remainder of light festival
The parks department said it's working with Alberta Fish and Wildlife to determine next steps, and parks staff and a wildlife control contractor will be patrolling the park for the remainder of the Festival of Lights.
The free, walk-through light show is held in the downtown park with fire pits, music playing and a skating pond.
It said it's been working to make coyotes feel unwelcome in areas where the animals could come into contact with humans, saying they've received reports of aggressive coyotes.
The wildlife control contractor has used hazing, scent deterrents and has set live traps.
If you encounter a coyote, you should make yourself appear large, wave arms, throw objects, and shout while maintaining eye contact, the city says. If it approaches, don't run — back away slowly.
Coyote sightings should be reported to to park staff at 403-948-8400.