Good grief! There’s been another coyote attack in Nova Scotia. You’d think these clever beasts would be keeping a low profile, considering the bounty that’s been placed on them. This time, a farmer in Hants county had the back of his jacket torn by one while he was shoveling snow. He managed to fend it off without being injured.
Since October 2009, coyote encounters noted in the media have included one in Cape Breton where a female hiker was mauled and killed; another where a teenager (who should have heeded park warnings to not sleep outdoors without a tent) awoke to find coyote jaws around her head; and one in a neighborhood in Spryfield, where a Nova Scotia Power meter reader managed to fend off a potential attack when he inadvertently got between an adult and pups.
Many believe that the bounty announced on Earth Day 2010 is the best solution to the problem at least for the short term. However, in a pack, usually only the alpha male and female reproduce. If they’re killed, the entire pack will begin reproducing, therefore increasing the population the following year. It seems like the short term solution could create larger problems in the future. Regardless of the potential for an increase in the birth of pups this spring, the Department of Natural Resources believes that a bounty can be effective simply by re-enforcing the coyote population’s natural fear of humans. Could they be right? We’ll have to wait and see.
In the meantime, Nova Scotia’s Department of Natural Resources is advising people confronted with coyotes to “back away, act large, make noise and fight back.” Hopefully wise coyotes will also re-examine their tactics and back away to more remote spaces, act timid, make do with food in the wild and fight back by writing letters to the editor to complain about loss of habitat.