Montreal

West Island coyote population on the rise

David Rodrigue, the executive director of the Ecomuseum, said coyotes aren't necessarily dangerous so long as they are left alone.

Kirkland residents raise concerns after recent sightings of coyotes in local parks

Residents can also avoid dangerous situations if they don't offer food to coyotes. (Shaun Malley/CBC)

Some residents in Kirkland are unnerved after a coyote was spotted prowling parks in the area, but a wildlife expert says there is no cause for alarm so long as people keep a safe distance.

In June, the City of Kirkland issued warnings to residents about the animal, asking them to contact authorities if they spot one.

David Rodrigue, the executive director of the Ecomuseum, said coyotes aren't necessarily dangerous so long as they aren't approached.

"Don't try to take selfies with coyotes. You shouldn't do it with a grizzly bear, don't do it with a coyote," Rodrigue said.

The reality of living in Canada

The local coyote population on Montreal's West Island will only grow, according to Rodrigue. He recommends that residents keep their cats indoors and their dogs on leashes.

Residents can also avoid dangerous situations if they don't offer food to coyotes.

"That's the number one problem," Rodrigue said. "People, out of an emotional need to help animals, they want to feed them."

Marc Creamer, who lives in Kirkland, said he keeps an eye on his kids when they play soccer in the park, but he doesn't think coyotes are a reason to worry.

"I think it's the reality of living in Canada, or anywhere, you know? We aren't that far from the wild. So we're going to see them," Creamer said.

With files from Shaun Malley

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