Coyote sighting prompts reminder from Stratford

The Town of Stratford, P.E.I., has issued a reminder to residents about what to do if you see a coyote, following fresh reports of sightings in the area.

Coyotes not dangerous if handled properly, say officials

A coyote pauses to look around while walking through an open field. The Town of Stratford, P.E.I., is warning residents that a coyote was recently spotted in the Sundance Lane area. (Roberto E. Rosales/The Albuquerque Journal/The Associated Press)

The Town of Stratford, P.E.I., has issued a reminder to residents about what to do if you see a coyote, following fresh reports of sightings in the area.

The recent report was of a coyote in the Sundance Lane area. In a post on the town's Facebook page, officials said the coyote did not show any signs of aggression.

"Not unusual, we've got coyotes around Fullertons Marsh, on the edge of Stratford," said Chuck Gallison, a wildlife officer with the P.E.I. Department of Communities, Land and Environment.

P.E.I. wildlife officer Chuck Gallison urges Stratford residents to stop feeding foxes because that will attract coyotes into their neighborhoods. (Nancy Russell/CBC)

He suggests the coyote is likely a male that's on the lookout for some new territory.

"Every now and then the younger males get kicked out and they go on a bit of a wander, looking for their own harem, as we say," explained Gallison.

Wildlife officers were tracking a coyote this summer in the vicinity of Clearview Estates, though that one was eventually hit by a car. But evidence of coyotes is seen frequently in the Fullertons Marsh area, and coyotes can travel long distances, making Sundance Cove well within their range.

"He probably wandered in, looking for food, and just wandering around and he should move out," said Gallison.

P.E.I. wildlife officers frequently find evidence of coyotes, including spat, here at Fullertons Marsh on the outskirts of Stratford, P.E.I. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

Keep an eye on your pets

Gallison encourages residents to call his department when they spot a coyote.

"They take cats, unfortunately, are very vulnerable to them, and so people are losing pets, so we like to know about that," said Gallison.

"Lots of people have a fear of coyotes, not like foxes, so we like to monitor the situation, to know what's going on," he added.

Gallison urges Stratford residents not to allow bird seed to accumulate under their feeders, keep their garbage secured and, above all, to stop feeding foxes and other wildlife.

"If you're feeding wild creatures, there's always the predators that come too," said Gallison.

"Foxes [are] what people like to feed, please don't do that, coyotes feed on foxes."

A resident in the Sundance Lane neighborhood reported seeing the coyote, which prompted the town to put out the reminder. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

Tips on coyotes

The town shared the P.E.I. government's list of tips on what to do, and not to do, if you see a coyote.

  • Help coyotes keep a healthy fear of humans by shouting, waving your arms, and throwing rocks or sticks in their general direction.
  • Don't feed them. This includes inadvertent feeding such as leaving pet food outdoors, not securing garbage, or allowing bird seed to accumulate under feeders.
  • Keep small pets safe by not leaving them unattended.
  • Report all sightings to the P.E.I. forests, fish and wildlife division at 902-368-4683

The town added that coyote sightings are not unusual on P.E.I., and the animals should not be considered dangerous if proper precautions are taken.