‘I was really scared’: Newmarket pet owner had close contact with coyote
‘This will go after someone,’ says Newmarket resident after being chased and chased by coyote near Bayview Parkway, warning others to stay away
Newmarket resident Jorge Almeida regularly walks his dog behind the Dixon Plaza near Bayview Parkway, on the edge of the Mabel Davis Conservation Area.
But he encountered something he had never seen before on a path he said is frequented by residents: a coyote. Although separated by a fence, he said the coyote ran straight at his dog, Sheba, and narrowly missed exiting through a nearby opening.
He tried to make noise to scare the coyote away. He and his pet fled, with the coyote chasing them on the other side, he said. Without the fence, Almeida said the coyote likely would have attacked his dog.
“I’ve never seen one this big before,” he said. “I was very scared. I was screaming all the way.
Coyotes have been a more regular sight around Newmarket lately, with the town monitoring and warning residents of their activity. There have been more than 20 sightings in the past three months, according to the city’s coyote tracker, not counting one encountered by Almedia.
The coyote’s aggressive behavior was concerning to him and his family. He wondered if the coyote should be hunted given the aggressive behavior, suspecting a possible litter of pups or hunger.
“This one’s gonna get somebody’s dog,” he said. “It’s a good size, and when he’s hungry and desperate, he’ll end up going after someone.”
But city policy tends to let them do it. The municipal website encourages residents to take precautions and notes that coyotes are difficult to trap, requiring leg traps that could be dangerous to pets and humans.
“Coyotes have adapted well to living in close proximity to humans,” the municipality said on its website. “Precautions can help residents co-exist with these animals because the City of Newmarket’s approach to living with coyotes is to leave them alone.”
The city said many areas, including those where this incident occurred, have signs warning residents of increasing coyote populations. He said coyotes are generally more active at night and residents should stick to well-trafficked areas because coyotes tend to avoid humans. He also said sightings and such encounters should be reported to the city.
Multiple reports of territorial behavior could warrant action, the municipality said.
“If the city were to receive multiple reports of a coyote exhibiting territorial behavior, in the same location, during the same season, it would be safe to assume that there is a den nearby at that time and the city would explore the most humane options under the advice of the Ministry of Natural Resources.
Almeida’s wife posted about the encounter on Facebook. Locals expressed sympathy, but said the coyote should be left behind.
“The problem is that they are just defending themselves. We took their homes, and unfortunately they have nowhere to go, now they feel threatened,” said one resident. “I’m happy Everyone be okay, but I think the only thing to do is put up signs.”
“Glad your husband and dog are safe,” said another resident. “However, WE destroyed their habitat for our own greed!” This is a sad situation for all wildlife.
The city recommends keeping food attractants off the ground, avoiding letting pets run around, and avoiding feeding coyotes, among other recommendations. If a coyote is encountered, the city said to remain calm and wait for it to move on, or if threatened, to use whistles and personal alarm devices to deter it. The city says you should back up slowly, stay calm, and never run or turn your back on a coyote, but walk backwards.
Almeida said the incident does not haunt him. However, he added that he would be a bit more cautious and nervous in the area.
Still, he said there were others using the area and he must have warned a father and his children who were about to enter just as he was fleeing.
“Stay away, of course.
You can report a coyote sighting through the municipal website.