Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Blog Guelph: I keep thinking about that coyote

Winter Surroundings by ~Stingrays~
Winter Surroundings, a photo by ~Stingrays~ on Flickr.

Years ago I opted for a vegetarian diet because eating animals, fish and birds didn't feel right for me. I respect others' choices, but really don't care for the food chain. In my ideal world, all animals – humans included – would eat a plant-based diet. It just seems kinder.

Coyotes have been in the news a fair bit lately and, as you're no doubt aware, there have been sightings in Guelph. We've been advised by the City and the Guelph Humane Society to supervise small children and dogs playing outdoors and keep cats inside as a precaution.

Last week Toronto police shot and killed a coyote near Cabbagetown. Huffington Post’s article, Did Our Ignorance Kill a Toronto Coyote?, states:
 “According to Toronto Police, who cited "public safety" as their primary concern, "the animal was acting aggressively." This claim was called into question for many when video footage of the incident was released showing a small, calm coyote looking every bit like a lost dog and nothing at all like a rabid, menacing killer.”
I felt bad for that coyote and it prompted me to do further reading about coyotes and urban wildlife in general. I still dislike the food chain, but subscribe wholeheartedly to these words from an Ontario SPCA fact sheet:
“In an effort to coexist with wildlife, consider the enormous hardships these intelligent and fascinating wild species encounter because so much of their habitat has been destroyed. Each year they are forced into closer contact with humans and must compete with us for food, shelter and space. With a little understanding, patience and a few precautions and common sense steps, we can all enjoy the wonderfully interesting wild animals who share our backyards and cities” 
For information about dealing with urban wildlife, including coyotes, visit the City of Guelph's website.

- Kim

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