Alberta Fish and Wildlife investigators were unable to confirm a cause of death for eight coyotes found dumped in a ditch in Strathcona County.
Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Brendan Cox said the department received a report about the dead coyotes on Apr. 12. Concerns were raised that the animals had been poisoned.
Strathcona County removed the coyotes to a landfill, where they were disposed of in a pit with other animal carcasses . A Fish and Wildlife officer who later attended the landfill to examine the coyotes was unable to safely access the disposal site.
“It was not deemed safe for the officer to enter the pit and get an up close inspection of the carcasses to determine the exact cause of death,” Cox said.
After looking at pictures of the coyote carcasses, officers determined that the condition of the animals was not consistent with death by common poisons.
“And that was the original concern that was made regarding this incident,” Cox said.
Officers instead concluded that the coyotes had most likely been shot. In Strathcona County it is legal for rural residents to use firearms to control coyotes where bylaws allow.
Anyone with information about the coyotes or any other suspicious hunting activities can call Report a Poacher at 1-800-642-3800 or make a report online.