Assiniboine Park officials warn public to be vigilant around coyotes after incident on zoo grounds

Assiniboine Park officials are reminding the public to be vigilant around coyotes, amid reports the canines have been getting a bit too comfortable interacting with the public.

Chris Enright with Assiniboine Park Conservancy said staff added signage over the past week to popular trails and areas in the park, reminding the public how to cohabitate safely with coyotes.

Park officials wanted to get the word out after becoming concerned by a coyote that was seen on zoo grounds, behaving as if he was too comfortable around people.

“That becomes concerning where we’re very well practiced at living alongside coyotes, but we need coyotes to give people their distance too and sometimes, unfortunately, coyotes might have been fed by well-intentioned people and became too used to people, and that’s where conflict can happen up to and including aggressive incidents,” he said.

Enright said they reached out to conservation officers about the incident, and are treating it as an opportunity to educate the public.

The signage reminds park users to keep a distance from coyotes and never to feed them.

Dog owners are also encouraged to keep their four-legged friends on leashes, and not allow them to veer into uncontrolled bushes.

“Sometimes that dog on a leash can be seen as a threat by a coyote who is perhaps defending its den or its territory,” he said, noting pet owners should pick up their dogs and retreat into a building or a car if a coyote comes too close.

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