Parks Canada is considering the latest encounter between humans and a coyote in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park as neither an attack nor an attempted attack.
The incident occurred the weekend of Nov. 14 and 15 when a coyote crossed the path of a man and woman while they were walking a dog near Jerome Mountain.
“At first we got the impression there was some aggression displayed, but as we investigated it became more apparent that may not be the case,” said Derek Quann, a Parks Canada manager of resource conservation.
“Nonetheless, the animal did not flee as the two kind of closed in on one another.”
Quann said the coyote was on the opposite side of the guardrail and didn’t retreat as expected. Instead, it appeared bold and unwilling to move off.
“The man had some sort of walking stick with him and he struck the animal. He whacked it.”
Once struck, the coyote quickly fled the scene.
“We’ve gone back down to a monitoring phase on that because it wasn’t a severe aggression, but definitely something that was outside of our comfort range, something that concerns us and something we react to quickly.”
Because the incident occurred about 10 kilometres away from the Skyline trail where coyotes fatally attacked Toronto's Taylor Mitchell last month, it is considered unrelated. The area will be monitored, but the latest incident is considered closed.
As part of the Mitchell investigation, which remains active, a fifth coyote near the Skyline trail was recently destroyed.