North

Coyote snatches terrier from Yellowknife backyard in broad daylight

A Yellowknife woman is warning pet owners to be vigilant for predators after one of her Yorkshire terriers was snatched from her backyard by a coyote over the weekend.

Owner saves 2nd dog by chasing off predator

Shelley Grimes and her dog Charlie. Grimes chased off a coyote from her yard on Sunday that was heading for Charlie. Her other Yorkshire terrier, Zoey, may have fallen prey to the animal. (Kate Kyle/CBC)

A Yellowknife woman is warning pet owners to be vigilant for predators after one of her Yorkshire terriers was snatched from her backyard by a coyote over the weekend.

Shelley Grimes, who lives on Rivett Crescent near Range Lake, had let her two dogs, Zoey and Charlie, out into the yard at about 3 p.m. Sunday.

"When I looked out I noticed there was a coyote running toward one of the dogs so I ran out and kind of shushed him away and made a lot of noise.

"I grabbed up the dog and I looked around but I couldn't find my other dog. I was calling her name over and over but I couldn't find her anywhere."

Grimes says Zoey has not been found, despite an extensive search of the neighbourhood with help from friends. 

"We haven't found any sign of her. She's so small that I don't think she would have made it through the night because it was a little colder."

Grimes said she later heard neighbours had seen two coyotes in the area, and she thinks Zoey had already been taken by one coyote before she looked out and saw the second heading for Charlie.

"We are heartbroken," she said. "For goodness sakes, keep your pets in and watch them if you need to take them out."

Shelley Grimes' backyard on Rivett Crescent, where Zoey was last seen. (Kate Kyle/CBC)

Dean Cluff, a biologist for the North Slave region with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, says coyote attacks on humans are rare, though people should be cautious as "small pets and children are potential prey for a bold coyote."

He says coyotes have been around the Yellowknife area for decades, but there have been more sightings since the early 2000s, when one or two packs of coyotes began breeding within Yellowknife's city limits.

Cluff said coyotes are known for adapting well to urban environments.

"It does happen with coyotes more so than other wildlife that they can live very comfortably among people," he said.

"In other places like California and Vancouver, you have coyotes that come into people's yards. They've taken a steak off a barbecue. They had a coyote riding transit. The ones that live in urban centres do get used to people and can live quite happily among people."

Wildlife officers plan to monitor the neighbourhood.

with files from Mark Hadlari and Kate Kyle

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.