Sign of spring #1: the Toronto Sun starts covering coyote sightings

Sign of spring #1: the Toronto Sun starts covering coyote sightings

Coyote spotted in Neville Park (Image: George Socka)

As the sun’s warmth returns, so to does the Sun’s coverage of varmints. Toronto’s dog owners might want to be on the lookout for two species that are returning to the city’s parks: coyotes, and reporters writing stories about coyotes. Today, the Sun got in its first entry of 2011, warning of the danger that the coyotes pose to dogs of the twee variety.

Coyotes — like the one seen Sunday in the Beach area — are pleasing animal lovers and spreading fear among pet-owners.

One living in the Neville Park Ave. ravine recently brought howls of protest from an owner who scared it into dropping her dog, residents said.

The poodle-mix is back roaming its yard with a stitched-up neck, but is watched more carefully by his owner, who does not want to be named.

Residents have called the coyote Neville for years, but others roam Toronto parks and wooded ravines.

Since 2007 or so, the media have been covering coyotes in Toronto more and more (if the results of a Google News search can be trusted). Whether that’s because there have been more incidents, or simply disproportionate attention since coyotes started nabbing poodles and chihuahuas, is a question that we might pose to a conservation-minded biologist. Or, we could just declare open season on the critters as Progressive Conservative Liberal MPP Linda Jeffrey has proposed.

Then there’s the point of view noted by some rational individual quoted in the Sun, who points out that cars are probably a bigger danger to pets than coyotes. Next week’s story: Does such sanity have a place in our alarmist newspapers?

• Beach-area residents split on coyotes [Toronto Sun]

UPDATED (March 28, 1.19 p.m.)