Province takes charge in hunt for Beach coyotes

One of the costs of living among tree-lined streets surrounded by ravines and parks is sharing your neighbourhood with some unwanted guests.

This has led to a dilemma for residents of the quiet Beach neighbourhood in east Toronto. The past two weeks has prompted a debate over what to do with three coyotes believed to have taken up residence in a small, local ravine.

The ravine is bounded by Victoria Park Avenue to the east, Bracken Avenue to the north, Neville Park Boulevard to the west and Queen Street East to the south.

Following a fatal attack by two coyotes on a local Chihuahua, the city decided last week to capture and euthanize the coyotes. But word of the coyotes’ death sentence sparked local residents to start a petition in defence of the animals, who seem to have lost their natural fear of humans.

The Toronto Wildlife Centre, a non-profit animal advocacy group, states on their website that coyotes are not a threat to people and those animals in the Beach may have simply been acting out of extreme hunger following a rough winter.

Residents of the area are concerned, yet note it comes with the territory.

“We don’t know how many there are really. But it’s one of the charms of living in the Beach,” Petra Williams of nearby Balsam Road, said.

On Tuesday the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources agreed to trap the animals and relocate them to a zoo or wildlife refuge. This is seen as something of a compromise which local residents hope will solve the problem.

Jose Paradel, who lives just north of the ravine, agreed that the coyotes should be spared.

“It’s something to be concerned about. Killing them should be a last resort. Moving them is the best way to deal with it,” he said.