Lori Quaggiotto expresses her concerns on the coyote activity issue at Lasalle Town Council meeting Tuesday.
Nick Brancaccio / Windsor Star
Having faced a recent spate of coyote attacks on pets and a growing number of sightings , LaSalle councillors began the process of putting together a strategy to deal with an issue of growing concern Tuesday.Among the steps to be taken are setting up a public meeting with Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry officials as quickly as possible along with creating a working committee to push the process along.“I understand there’s a process, but it took from June 4 to Aug. 13 to get this far,” said Lori Quaggiotto, whose Yorkie Maggie Sue was killed by a coyote in the backyard of her Bouffard Road home in June.“I hope the next part of the process goes quicker.“They’re still out there. We’re fearful to go outside — even during the day.”Quaggiotto said her family spots a coyote at least twice a week on the street. There are also two separate litters totalling nine coyote pups that have nested behind homes on Bouffard.
Year-and-a-half-old Maggie Sue was snatched from a back yard on Bouffard Road in LaSalle by a coyote.
Courtesy of Lori Quaggiotto /
In addition to meetings, town officials will study a number of different options including by-law changes.Among the suggestions are more public education, banning the feeding of wildlife, making hard-sided garbage containers mandatory and even calling for limiting longer grasses and shrubbery near homes backing onto natural areas.“I really thing I’d like to see something on not feeding wildlife,” said Andrea Thielk, who along with Quaggiotto made a presentation to council.“I’m pleased with tonight. I believe we have council’s attention. I believe they’re taking this issue seriously.”Thielk said there have been regular sightings of the roaming predators near her home off Matchette Road. She told council there have been three attacks on dogs in the Bouffard area and some of the coyotes spotted in town have been as big as 80 pounds.Her presentation included a package of photos showing the coyotes roaming in various locations around LaSalle at different times of the day.“They can be very bold,” Thielk said. “Surveillance cameras show one going up on someone’s porch and others going up to the windows.”
An adult female coyote at the Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue nature park west of Montreal in April, 2018.
John Mahoney /
One of the options in the study was for the town to hire a trapper to deal with the coyotes.However, Chief Administrative Officer Joe Milicia has expressed concerns that removing coyotes will throw the local ecosystem out of balance.“I know it wasn’t the result they were looking for tonight, but we just can’t get rid of all the coyotes just like that,” said LaSalle Deputy Mayor Crystal Meloche.“Allowing open hunting in town is another discussion. We have to look at ways to live with wild animals.”Meloche feels tracking the coyotes’ numbers and mapping the locations of the sightings is a vital step to solving the problem.“We don’t have a proper way of doing that right now,” Meloche said. “We have an area of concern (Bouffard Road). We need to let people know about those areas.”Related
Essex Regional Conservation Authority officials have previously said there have been more frequent coyote sightings in the last 10 years. Coyotes live in both rural and urban areas all over southern Ontario, but the population is not out of control.Anyone with concerns can call the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry at firstname.lastname@example.org/@winstarwaddell