Councillor demands MNR deal with 'aggressive' coyote after latest attack

Another coyote attack in Riverside South has the local city councillor angry at the Ministry of Natural Resources for what she calls their failure to take care of the "aggressive" canine.

Local MPP says her office has reached out to City of Ottawa to help

Gloucester-South Nepean Coun. Carol Anne Meehan tells two children in Riverside South to be careful around coyotes. On Wednesday, she posted to Facebook about her anger over what she calls lack of action from the Ministry of Natural Resources to deal with an aggressive coyote in her ward. (Stu Mills/CBC)

Another coyote attack in Riverside South has the local city councillor angry at the Ministry of Natural Resources for what she calls their failure to take care of the "aggressive" canine.

"For three weeks now, I have been trying to get the right authorities to deal with what is obviously a very aggressive animal in our community," said Gloucester-South Nepean Coun. Carol Anne Meehan in a video posted to her Facebook page on Wednesday.

"The Ministry of Natural Resources, which has the sole responsibility of dealing with dangerous wildlife in our midst, has washed their hands of this."

Late Tuesday night, a man near Spratt Road and Goldeneye Way was bitten on the back of the leg by a coyote, Ottawa police say. His injuries were not serious, and he did not require medical help.

Ottawa police searched for the animal but were unable to find it. Meehan said police were out looking in the area again Wednesday.

This is one of several attacks by a coyote on a human in recent weeks. CBC Ottawa is aware of at least half a dozen incidents, including one involving a 74-year-old newspaper carrier who was bitten early in the morning on May 30 and needed stitches and treatment for possible rabies.

On June 3, an 81-year-old woman was chased and nipped while out for an early morning stroll on a residential street. 

A new attack by a coyote on a human Tuesday has the local city councillor angry at Ministry of Natural Resources for what she calls a failure to deal with the problem animal. (Tim Johnston)

Local MPP in touch with Ottawa police

Meehan said she'd written a letter to the province's Minister of Natural Resources, John Yakabuski, expressing her anger at how his team had "failed to respond to this threat to our community."

In a statement, Carleton MPP Goldie Ghamari said the ministry has been in "constant communication" with City of Ottawa staff since her office first learned of the coyote problem at the end of May.

Ministry staff were on a call with the City of Ottawa Tuesday to "provide guidance on the management of troublesome wildlife," said Ghamari, who represents the Riverside South area at the provincial level.

Ghamari said she also spoke with Ottawa police Wednesday morning to offer the province's help as they look for the animal.

"I was informed that they are co-ordinating with [the city's bylaw office] as the situation unfolds and if they require any further assistance, they will reach out to me directly," she said.

Tips to avoid coyotes 

While the search for the animal is underway, both Meehan and Ghamari urge residents to be extra careful to avoid conflicts with coyotes.

"Homeowners can take steps to ensure wildlife, including coyotes, are not attracted to their property and neighbourhood by properly managing garbage and by accompanying pets outside," said Ghamari.

Stitches and bite marks remain where newspaper carrier George Bayne was attacked and wounded by a coyote on Giant Cedars Crescent on May 30, 2020. (Submitted)

Gary Cooper, a Metcalfe resident who said he has previously hunted coyotes under contract for the ministry, suggests people carry bear spray if they are concerned.

Ottawa bylaw officials recommend residents carry a flashlight at night, and should they encounter a coyote, never approach it. Instead, they should back away calmly and stand tall, waving their hands or making noise if need be.

Meehan added that parents should pay close attention to their kids while they are playing outside.

"I'm hoping and praying and keeping my fingers crossed that this animal, who is behaving so abnormally, will be removed soon," Meehan said.

with files from CBC's Stu Mills and Laura Glowacki

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