Coyotes adapting to Winnipeg’s urban environment, Fort Whyte Alive expert says

You might want to start getting used to seeing coyotes in Winnipeg, according to one wildlife expert, as the animals are adapting to the urban environment.

Fort Whyte Alive’s Barrett Miller told 680 CJOB you don’t have to travel outside the Perimeter to see the canines anymore.

This comes on the heels of a hold and secure situation at three Winnipeg schools on Monday, due to roaming coyotes spotted in the area.

The River East Transcona School Division said the doors to Kildonan-East Collegiate, Valley Gardens Middle School, and Bertrun E. Glavin Elementary were locked, but students were able to continue classes at all three schools.

Nearby Neil Campbell School students were also kept inside as a precaution, while armed police searched the area for any straggling animals.

Miller said coyotes have been slowly and progressively making their way into Winnipeg’s urban environment — a big change from as a recently as a decade ago, when it was rare to see one inside city limits.

“Ten years ago, they were into the suburban fringes of the city,” said Miller.

“Now they’re starting to make their way closer and closer into the downtown.

“So long as there’s just a little bit of cover, a little bit of riverbank, a little bit of park, a little bit of back yard, and food — and coyotes can eat just about anything — they will move in.”

Miller said coyotes generally ignore humans.

“Not that they’ve necessarily lost the fear of people, but we’re really quite good to them and they have no reason to fear us.”

They can, however, become aggressive toward domestic dogs, so it’s important to remain vigilant if you’re walking your pet in a wooded area, he said.

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