No cause for con­cern

De­ci­sion to dis­patch coy­ote in Bay Roberts was right one — mayor

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY TERRY ROBERTS

Of­fi­cials with the Town of Bay Roberts say a re­cent in­ci­dent in­volv­ing a coy­ote was out-of-the­o­r­di­nary and res­i­dents should be vig­i­lent, but not con­cerned.

A li­cenced hunter was called in to dis­patch a coy­ote in the Mad Rock area on Sept. 26 af­ter an out-of-prov­ince fe­male tourist came upon the an­i­mal dur­ing a walk along the Shore­line Her­itage Walk.

The tourist was alarmed by the sight­ing, and went to a cafe in the area to re­port the in­ci­dent.

The town’s mu­nic­i­pal en­force­ment of­fi­cer, Perry Bow­er­ing, went to the area and got within 20 to 30 feet of the an­i­mal. Bow­er­ing snapped pho­tos and for­warded them to a wildlife ex­pert with the provin­cial govern­ment, who con­firmed the an­i­mal was a coy­ote.

Much of Bay Roberts is lo­cated on a nar­row penin­sula that juts out into Con­cep­tion Bay, and the coy­ote was at the ex­treme end of this point of land, known lo­cally as Mad Rock. In or­der for the coy­ote to re­turn to the wilder­ness, it would have had to back­track through the town.

Based on this, and con­cerns that the an­i­mal posed a safety threat to peo­ple and their pets, town of­fi­cials de­cided to call in the hunter. Af­ter about four hours of plan­ning and en­sur­ing the area was safe, the hunter dis­patched the an­i­mal at about 3 p. m., Bow­er­ing ex­plained. The area was a con­sid­er­able dis­tance from the near­est dwellings, he added.

Bow­er­ing and Mayor Philip Wood say it was the first time in their mem­o­ries a coy­ote had been spot­ted in the town.

“We felt it posed a threat,” said Wood “The bot­tom line is he was deep into the town, and in or­der to get out, it might have had some se­vere con­se­quences for ei­ther pets or peo­ple.”

Wood said town of­fi­cials were also mo­ti­vated by a deadly at­tack by coy­otes in Oc­to­ber 2009, which re­sulted in the death of a 19-year-old fe­male who was hik­ing in the Sky­line Trail of the Cape Bre­ton High­lands National Park in Nova Sco­tia.

Wood added the Shore­line Her­itage Walk is a pop­u­lar desti­na­tion for walk­ers of all ages, many of whom bring their pets.

“These were all fac­tors in de­cid­ing what to do,” he ex­plained.

There have been no more re­ported sight­ings in the town, Bow­er­ing noted.

Coy­otes are rel­a­tive news­com­ers to the is­land por­tion of the prov­ince. Their pres­ence was first con­firmed in the mid-1980s, and there’s now a coy­ote man­age­ment plan in place to ad­dress pre­da­tion on live­stock and big game, and pro­vide recre­ational and eco­nomic ben­e­fits to trap­pers and hunters.

Any­one sight­ing a coy­ote can con­tact the Town of Bay Roberts or the provin­cial wildlife divi­sion at 637-2025.

An out- of-prov­ince tourist spot­ted this coy­ote in the Mad Rock area of Bay Roberts on Sept. 26. The an­i­mal was later dis­patched by a li­cenced hunter.

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