Park trails remain closed after coyote sightings
A popular park plagued with coyote encounters continues to keep its trails closed.
The City of Guelph has temporarily shut down trails at Preservation Park after residents reported three close calls with coyotes in the first week of July.
On Saturday, the city tweeted that they need help from residents for "a little longer."
Thanks to the diligent residents for respecting the Preservation Park trail closure. We need your help a little longer. Keep dogs on a leash, pick up litter and don't feed wildlife. Report coyote sightings and off-leash dogs to bylaw at 519-763-2529. pic.twitter.com/nMmtp1UXFD— City of Guelph (@cityofguelph) July 19, 2019
Experts say this is the time of year when coyotes are raising their young and get protective if they feel threatened by other animals.
The City warns the public to stay off the trails and make sure pets are kept on a leash.
Guelph resident Kim Ferguson said she’s proceeding with caution with her dog after she heard about the coyote sighting in her neighbourhood.
“I won’t take him as far into the woods as sometimes I do on a nice day,” she said.
The Guelph Humane Society says the three sightings of coyotes in the wilderness aren’t an issue, but how they’ve been acting is raising concerns.
“The callers described the behavior as charging at them and coming in the proximity of five to 15 feet,” said Lisa Veit of the humane society. “Of times they’d follow them back to their car.”
Veit adds that coyotes are much more afraid of people than people are of them.
“Pick up small pets or children and back away slowly,” she said.
The wildlife organization Coyote Watch Canada will perform an evaluation this weekend to figure out the next steps to take.
“I think it’s really lovely that animals are here,” said Guelph resident Susan Lapp. “We can live respectfully with nature and ourselves in the same area.”
It is unclear how long the Preservation Park trails will stay closed.
There are currently warnings signs instead of barricades at the entrance of the trails.