Cat-hungry coyotes not classed as “dangerous animals”

By David F. Rooney

Provincial Conservation Officer Adam Christie says he’s well aware of the fact that coyotes are dining out on pet cats but there’s little he can do because the canids are not classed as dangerous animals.

“Cougars and bears are classed as dangerous animals,” he said Tuesday. “Wolves and coyotes are not.”

The only time they are officially regarded as “dangerous” is when they attack humans and that, Christie said, “is “rather rare.”

“There have been attacks by coyotes on humans but they’re rather uncommon,” he said, agreeing that when such incidents do occur the animals in question are hunted down and killed.

Christie said he is aware that pets — cats in particular — are being stalked, killed and eaten by local coyotes but judging by the complaints he has heard, he thinks the number of pets killed this year is less than last year. He did not cite any figures.

The threat to local pets is such that their owners really should take precautions to ensure their safety, he said.

That includes keeping them indoors are night, not feeding them outside and being aware of where they are when they are not indoors. People should also do nothing to encourage or feed coyotes. Keeping coyotes out of our backyards requires much the same kind of vigilance and coyote-proofing as being actively bear aware. That means not leaving pet foods outside or in an open garage and keeping garbage in a secure location before setting it out on garbage day.