The rescue of a cat from the jaws of a coyote has prompted warnings to Tri-City residents to keep their small pets indoors and to remove all items that might attract the prowling critters.
Although coyotes aren’t a danger to humans, they will grab small pets because they don’t distinguish them from other small prey such as rats and mice, according to Austin Lord of the BC Conservation Officer Service.
“Most of the time, they’re looking for small rodents, like mice, rabbits, even raccoons,” said Lord, who advised residents of Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody to keep control of their waste and other animal attractants.
His recommendations come after a woman posted to the Port Moody Discussion Group Facebook page Monday about efforts to rescue a cat whose head was stuck in a coyote’s jaws.
The incident occurred Monday morning on Ioco Road when Debra Lee was driving with her nephew. When they saw the coyote trotting along dragging the cat, the nephew jumped out of the car, startling the animal, causing it to drop the cat.
Read more about coyotes in the Tri-Cities here.
Lee stopped traffic while the cat ran under a car. The owners were eventually found but the cat had to be taken to the vet because of its injuries, and will likely lose an eye.
As it is breeding season, some coyotes may be on the move but it will be a few months before pups are born.
Lord cautions people to take the same precautions as they would to keep a bear from coming into their neighbourhood.
“We’re just reminding people to manage attractants,” Lord said.
He advised people to check out the Stanley Park Ecological Society, which has a lot of information about coexisting with coyotes on its website.