'It was a sight to see': N.S. communities see increase in coyote sightings
HALIFAX -- Residents in some Maritime communities are reporting an increase in coyote sightings that are a little too close for comfort.
Experts say this time of year is the canines breeding season, meaning they're more active in public places.
"They're going to start covering their territories, looking for potential mates and at the same time, looking for food that is becoming a little more scarce," said Mike Boudreau, Human Wildlife Conflict Biologist for Nova Scotia’s Department of Natural Resources.
Boudreau says wildlife officials typically ask certain questions to determine why coyotes or other wildlife are showing up in a neighbourhood.
"Do they have pets outside? Do they feed their cats or dogs outside? Is there a large rodent population in the neighbourhood?" Boudreau explained.
Those are the questions Jennifer Brown recently had to answer when she had a coyote encounter in her Hammonds Plains, N.S. backyard.
"We were just eating lunch and the kids said, 'There are dogs in the backyard,'" said Brown.
Brown sent a video of the encounter to wildlife officials who confirmed those ‘dogs’ her children saw were actually coyotes.
Dana Seasons says she has also noticed an increase of coyotes in the Hammonds Plains neighbourhood lately, leading her to be more careful when letting her dogs out at nighttime.
"When it's dark and we let Walter our dog out, we will usually make a loud noise just to make sure there is nothing scurrying around and we can just let him out and keep an eye on him," said Seasons.
Boudreau says the continued expansion of communities is also a large factor in the increase of wildlife interactions.
Brown says although her family may need to take more precautions, she understands the beauty of wildlife and how they, just like humans, are just trying to survive.
"I found that they were really majestic, really beautiful, really powerful animals and it was a sight to see," said Brown.
A sight that is becoming more common as people and wild animals learn to coexist.