2nd coyote killed in North Kildonan area following recent attacks
Manitoba conservation officials have set live traps in the area after attacks on 2 children last month
Manitoba conservation officers have shot and killed a second coyote following two recent attacks on children in Winnipeg's North Kildonan area.
The second coyote was shot Wednesday morning in the area near Knowles Avenue and Popko Crescent and was sent for testing, said Staff Sgt. Graeme Smith with the Manitoba Conservation Officer Service.
Another adult coyote was shot and sent for testing after it was discovered on Monday, said a Tuesday news release from the province.
The coyotes were killed after a four-year-old was mauled by a coyote on Friday in the same neighbourhood where a nine-year-old was attacked six days earlier. Both children were treated at a hospital and released.
It's still not known if the two animals that were killed were involved in the attacks, but conservation officers believed they had become habituated to human presence, meaning they were no longer afraid of humans, Smith said.
"We have coyotes all throughout the city and we get calls all throughout the city, and the vast majority of them, the coyotes are not habituated," he said.
"So coming too close to people and not showing fear, things like that, are what give us the indicators to make the decision to euthanize it or not."
With the help of the Manitoba Trappers Association, conservation officials have set live traps in the area. The traps are considered humane and won't kill the animals, Smith said.
Signs in the area near Knowles Avenue and Popko Crescent indicate that wild animal live trapping is in progress.
A provincial spokesperson said late Wednesday that due to the many human sources of food in the area — either deliberately or unintentionally made available to the animals — conservation officers are finding that coyotes in the area are habituated, so all coyotes that are trapped or seen will be euthanized.
Smith said he's confident that only habituated coyotes are being euthanized.
"So we are confident that we're going to resolve this situation."
Smith said the province will try to confirm if the animals' DNA matches samples taken from the two children who were attacked. They also want to analyze the contents of the coyotes' stomachs to determine if they were deliberately fed, he added.
Anyone caught feeding wildlife can be charged and fined, said Smith.
The approach Manitoba conservation officials are taking following the attacks is the one recommended in coyote management plans across North America to remove animals that have become a public safety issue, said a biological sciences professor at the University of Alberta.
Given the recent attacks, coyotes in the North Kildonan area have likely become bold and territorial, said Colleen Cassady St. Clair.
"Once that happens, it's almost impossible to reverse that, and probably all the coyotes in that family group are involved," she said.
"So any coyote that is trapped in that area is likely already participating in or witnessing this behaviour."
North Kildonan city Coun. Jeff Browaty raised the possibility of a cull earlier this week, something Smith said Manitoba Conversation isn't considering at this time.
St. Clair, who created the Edmonton Urban Coyote Project in 2009 to study how coyotes live in the city, said that can actually make the problem worse in the long term, because it encourages animals to produce more young more quickly.
"Culling works in the short term — it gets rid of the problem over a period of weeks, months, maybe even a couple of years. But in the longer term, it actually produces more animals," she said.
Neighbours in the area where the attacks happened told CBC News there's been less activity on the streets lately, and they want things to get back to normal.
"We used to have a lot of kids playing out here, and as you can see right now, the street's pretty bare," Neil Lischka, who has lived in North Kildonan for about nine years, told CBC on Wednesday.
"So it'll be nice to get the children active again and have the fears gone and get back to our normal lives."
With files from Josh Crabb