Coyote packs becoming too cozy with human neighbours

Peachland neighbourhood has a four legged problem building

Coyotes in a couple Peachland neighbourhoods are acting in a disturbing way.

“I received several reports in August of groups of coyotes following people and showing signs of habituation on some hiking paths in the McKinnon and Trepanier Road area in Peachland,” said Andrea Tait, WildSafe B.C. Community co-ordinator.

Then, just two days ago, she had another report of coyotes near Victoria Street and Gladstone Road.

“It was the same thing,” said Tait. “Somebody had spotted five coyotes together walking down the road and she was trying to deter them and they acknowledged her, but they weren’t phased by her making noises to scare them away.”

This is disturbing, said Tait, because it means the coyotes are becoming too accustomed to human territory, which usually leads to the development of more aggressive behaviour.

“It’s hard to say what caused it… but if they are getting into attractants in a community, such as garbage left out, or pets left outside, they sort of learn to become more comfortable around people,” she said.

To try and turn the trend around, Tait said that it’s important to reinforce fear.

“If you have small pets and small people, pick them up,” said Tait. “Make yourself larger and be as aggressive as possible. “

The goal, she said, is twofold. First it’s to protect yourself and second, it’s to reinforce the idea that people need to be feared. That, in turn will keep the community and wildlife safe.

Tait will be in local neighbourhoods offering more information on being coyote safe in the days ahead.

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