The City of Fort Saskatchewan is reminding residents to be vigilant when it comes to coyotes. 

One of Alberta's native wildlife species, coyotes are crucial to the ecosystem. Coyotes, which are about the size of a medium dog, are usually not a threat to people but have been known to attack cats and dogs. While the city has not seen an increase in coyote-related complaints this summer, there have been reports online of bold coyotes approaching people in the West River's Edge area.

Owner of Fort Dog Fit, Lindsay Gabert, was walking a dog near the boat launch earlier this month when an aggressive coyote approached her and refused to go away. It took several additional people and a city maintenance truck to scare it off completely.

As part of its weekly community safety messaging, Fort Saskatchewan Municipal Enforcement is offering tips to deter coyotes.

  • Store garbage, recycling and organics properly, and do not leave food for wildlife.
  • Keep your yard clean of animal waste as coyotes are attracted to the scent of animal feces.
  • Keep your pets on a short leash or indoors and discourage dogs from chasing wildlife.
  • Do not approach or attempt to feed coyotes. Coyotes are naturally timid and will flee when confronted aggressively.

Coyotes will likely become more of a problem if they lose their fear of humans. These actions can be used to teach coyotes to be cautious around people:

  • Be loud, be big and be threatening. When you see a coyote stand up and raise your arms, make noise by yelling for the coyote to go away, clapping your hands or stomping your feet. 
  • Throw small objects in the direction of the coyotes making sure not to hit or injure the animal.  
  • Using bright lights, whistles and opening and closing an umbrella may also deter a coyote. 

You can report any concerns about wildlife to Alberta Fish and Wildlife at 310-0000.