Operations underway to live trap coyote in Riverside Park South neighbourhood

Operations are underway in the Riverside Park South neighbourhood this weekend to live-trap at least one coyote in the area.

The city of Ottawa has responded to hundreds of calls about coyotes this year, with several residents reporting missing pets, which they believe were killed by coyotes.

Residents are being asked to avoid the McCarthy Woods area and hydro corridors, bounded by Riverside Drive in the west and McCarthy Road in the east, this weekend while wildlife management operations are conducted.

“We’ve retained a wildlife specialist who’s reviewed a number of data that we’ve provided and other information about what’s been going on in that neighbourhood for the last several months and he’s done some site visits himself,” says Christine Hartig, program manager, operations support with Bylaw and Regulatory Services.

“He’s concluded that there’s at least one, or maybe two, individual animals that have been become extremely habituated, irreversibly likely, so we will be taking steps to remove those.”

Hartig told CTV Morning Live that the coyotes could potentially pose a risk if nothing is done to deal with the issue in the neighbourhood.

“They would be removed, humanely euthanized if necessary. We’ll see if the wildlife specialist can actually trap them,” Hartig said.

Bylaw Services officers stepped up wildlife patrols in the neighbourhood last month after several reports of attacks by coyotes on pets.

“Right under the lamp post and I looked afterwards and I found a little tuff of hair but that was it,” said Mike Donegan.

The Hunt Club East resident says his cat Frak was grabbed by a coyote.

“We’ve seen coyotes all over the place,” Donegan said. “I saw two crossing Owl Drive within the last three weeks, there’s two grade schools on the other side.

The city is hoping to live trap the problematic coyotes this weekend.

Experts have said construction in the area is pushing coyotes’ feeding grounds closer to homes.

The city is asking residents to keep small pets indoors or on a leash and under “direct supervision”, especially at night.

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