Locking eyes with an 70-pound coyote would put most people on edge — especially if the wild animal is not afraid of your two 90-pound dogs.

“He basically has no fear of us,” said Rick Shanahan, describing repeated encounters with a coyote he said attacked his dog in Glen Rouge Park in the spring.

Shanahan is six-feet tall. His dogs — King, a Bernese mountain dog mix, and Rocky, a Labrador retriever mix — each weigh about 90 pounds.

“I heard him yelping in the bush,” he said, describing the afternoon King was attacked in a wooded area. “He came running back with his tail between his legs with the coyote following him,” said Shanahan, who was near Sheppard Avenue East and Port Union Road. The dog was not injured.

Coyotes have long been spotted in wooded areas in and around the city, but the fatal mauling of a Toronto folk singer in Nova Scotia and reports of aggressive behaviour by other coyotes have escalated fears lately. City officials say the number of reported sightings have jumped to 68 this year from 15 last year.

After Shanahan reported the incident at Glen Rouge Park, animal services workers patrolled the area but failed to spot a coyote.

Shanahan said he loves coyotes, but feels this one should be removed.

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