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Learn to live with coyotes: Group

The Animal Alliance of Canada is calling on Toronto to set up an animal welfare advisory committee to help it deal with wildlife, saying the city can’t get rid of coyotes, so it should learn how to live with them.

The Animal Alliance of Canada is calling on Toronto to set up an animal welfare advisory committee to help it deal with wildlife, saying the city can’t get rid of coyotes, so it should learn how to live with them.

“We need to get past the hysteria,” alliance director Liz White said. In a letter sent to the city yesterday on behalf of animal welfare groups, Animal Alliance says efforts to get rid of foxes and coyotes inevitably fail, and animals return. If they’re killed, the letter says, new animals simply take their place.

The letter cites the village of Greely, near Ottawa, as an example. After about 20 pets went missing in 2007, trappers were hired to deal with the problem.

“This community killed over two dozen coyotes, and within a year the coyotes were back and the conflict continued,” it says.

The letter is co-signed by groups such as the humane societies of Canada and the United States, Born Free, the Canadian Alliance for Furbearing Animals, Canadians for Bears, Earthroots, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, the Ontario Wildlife Coalition and Zoocheck Canada.

White said programs to revitalize Toronto’s ravines and waterfront have created an ideal habitat for wildlife.

That’s led to conflict in the Beach neighbourhood, however, where two dogs have been attacked in recent days, sparking calls for coyotes to be trapped or shot.

White said such efforts would be futile, saying that’s one price we pay for a healthy environment.

“With the greening of the city, we’re going to see more wildlife, and that’s a good thing,” she said.

 
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