Increased Number of Coyote Reports throughout Tumbler Ridge

Lynsey Kitching
 
On Jan. 16, 2013 there was a coyote attack at the Wolverine Mine site, operated by Walter Energy.
 
The company declined to comment on the bite; however the Peace Region Conservation office explained their role in the event.
 
Two officers from the conservation office attended the mine site for a follow up investigation.
 
The conservation office explains the coyote had been there for a few days, exhibiting some behavior that was unnatural. It was seen in locations where it shouldn’t have been because there were no food sources.
 
There is no evidence to suggest the animal was fed.
 
A spokesperson for the conservation office says, “We took some steps to find out the extent of injuries and whether it was still in the area. The coyote was put down by a local trapper.”
 
He continues, “What we did was we talked to some of the folks at the mine about the condition of the coyote and whether it had been on site before. We obtained the carcass and brought it to Dawson Creek. We assessed the condition of the carcass; it was a young coyote in good health, but small. There were no obvious signs of disease or distress. We do not expect the animal to have rabies.”
 
Even still it is protocol, and on Jan. 21, the required parts were sent away for rabies testing.
 
Since January of 2011 there have been only rabies reports in bats. There have been no reports of rabies in coyotes across BC over the last two years.
 
The injuries suffered by the worker were minor, and there is no threat to public safety.
 
The Peace Region conservation office would like to take this opportunity to let residents of Tumbler Ridge know that recently there have been an increased number of reports involving coyotes present in Tumbler Ridge.
 
The office advises, “Coyotes are resourceful in searching out and obtaining natural and human provided food sources, which in the case of urban coyotes may include; feral rabbits, pet food left outside, unattended small pets, garbage, compost and discarded food stuffs.”
 
During January and February, it is their mating season, which can create a situation where urban coyotes become more territorial and less accepting of disturbances involving dogs.
The Conservation Officer Service would like to advise the public that it is a wildlife act offense to feed, or to deposit a substance to attract dangerous wildlife, which includes bears, cougars, wolves and coyotes. The public should be aware that urban coyotes, which are aggressive towards people or exhibit human habituation and/or food conditioned behaviours will be euthanized.
 
Residents are requested to report any incidents where they feel a coyote is of a public safety concern or they locate or know of human generated food sources provided to coyotes to the RAPP hotline at 1-877-952-7277.