What to do if you run into a coyote

A Saskatoon woman was unnerved recently after an encounter with a bold coyote in the city. Here are some tips on what to do in a similar encounter.

Expert says stand your ground, don't run

A coyote like this one was spotted on the Meewasin Trail this weekend. (File Photo)

A senior interpreter with Saskatoon's Meewasin Valley Authority says never run away if you come across a coyote.

Over the weekend, a woman encountered a coyote as she jogged along the east side of the river, not far from Preston Crossing, close to Circle Drive Bridge.

Runner Donna McKnight stood her ground and yelled at the animal until it left.

"I was actually really impressed," said Kenton Lysak, a senior interpreter with the Meewasin Valley Authority. "There's not a lot of individuals like Donna who stand up and do this."

Lysak said predators may chase after people who panic and run away from them. He said it's important to make a lot of noise and not break eye contact.

"Dog owners know this," he said. "If you want to get a message across to a canine, make eye contact. It basically asserts your dominance."

The woman was unsettled when the coyote didn't run away immediately when she started yelling.

Lysak said this bold behaviour is becoming more and more common. As Saskatoon expands, wildlife space is being taken up, and animals are relying more on food they find in the city — everything from garbage to crab apples.

However, he also notes that people shouldn't be afraid of coyotes.

"Usually coyotes are terrified of humans," he explained. "Whether it's the past that we had with the fur trade industry or whatever it may be, coyotes are normally very afraid of us."