Encounter with curious coyote prompts wildlife warning

coyote sighting alberta Kelly Stienwand/Okotoks Online

Last week in Alberta, Okotoks, Municipal Enforcement received a call from locals about a potentially sick or injured coyote wandering through the town. A common sight in this area, these animals are opportunistic hunters and have been known to attack pets. Officials were dispatched and quickly assessed the situation.

“One of our officers recognized that ‘no I don’t think the animal’s sick, he’s actually just young and lost,'” municipal enforcement manager Kelly Stienwand told Okotoks Online. “They were very patient and they were able to build a little bit of a trusting relationship with this young coyote, get close enough to get the loop hole on him and into a cage… they took him out into the wilderness and released him in an appropriate place.”

While this encounter ended in the best case scenario, Stienwand stated that the public did the right thing in reporting their suspicion, as they have the resources in place to deal with potentially dangerous or problematic wildlife.

With the expanding sprawl of urbanization, coyote sightings have increased dramatically. Resilient by nature, these animals have adapted to finding food in populated areas. They aren’t picky eaters, eating everything from small prey like insects and rodents to large mammals like deer and livestock. With their keen sense of smell, excellent vision, and the ability to run over 60 km/hr, they definitely aren’t going hungry!

As the weather cools, Stienwand urges precaution as animals remain active.

“It is the rutting season, so we’ll see more deer running around this time of year, especially the bucks, they’re not always thinking straight. They’re going to be jumping into people’s yards and doing different things, so just use good judgement, try not to feed the animals or interact with them at all.”

“Just let them do their thing.”

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