Food & Drink

My house backs onto a ravine. Should I be worried about a coyote mauling my toddler?

Ever since Zoe the chihuahua was snatched from her yard in the Beach, the coyote has replaced Walmart as the area’s public enemy number one. To get rid of them humanely, Toronto Animal Services has employed scare tactics—paintball guns and air horns—in nearby ravines, but in the meantime, there’s no need to ban backyard fun: Zoe’s fate isn’t the norm, and unless you’re Mickey Rourke, your child probably isn’t a chihuahua. Generally speaking, coyotes approach human territory only when tempted by a food source, and even then, they aren’t likely to attack . The closest Toronto has come to coyote-human combat was in 2003, when an animal nipped four people in two North York parks. In that case, a local had been feeding the coyote cooked chicken. Understandably, the hungry canine was peeved to discover not all park-goers are packing poultry.

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