Oh no, not the coyotes!
Unbeknownst to me, Montreal (apparently) has a coyote problem.
It's true. Coyotes have been present on the island of Montreal for several years, and have begun to pose a threat to citizens and pets in areas that sightings have become more and more common.
In fact, there have been coyotes sightings in at least 11 Montreal boroughs in the past several years.
After facing a growing number of complaints, the city of Montreal has signed off on a nearly $30,000 contract to hunt and trap the wild animals.
Émilie Thuillier, the mayor of the Ahuntsic-Cartierville borough, says that she receives hundreds of coyote sightings and complaints every year and that it is hard to tell if the reports are of seeing the same animal or many coyotes.
Thuillier also goes on to say that while coyotes have always been here, the problem of safety comes from people feeding the animal and the coyotes lowered fear of humans.
This has caused them to be comfortable with locals and their pets - and in some cases can even cause them to attack.
Groupe Prévost-Fortin has taken the contract to trap the animals, which is worth about $29,228.
Thuillier has said that the plan to remove the coyotes is still being developed, and at this time it remains to be seen whether the animals will be relocated or not.
Even though the plan to remove the animals is still being developed, that hasn't stopped animal rights groups and locals from chiming in on the controversial issue of trapping and removing the coyotes.
Retweeted The Fur-Bearers (@FurBearers):Say NO to #coyote trapping in #Montreal! Take action & support #humane, #ethical, #science-based #coexistence methods: https://goo.gl/LA8YMT— PAWS Pet Foundation (@SupportPets)
Montreal contracted a company to trap coyotes island-wide, against all common sense.— Mireille Goulet (@mireille_goulet)
#Trapping, relocating #coyotes is ineffective, ecologically shortsighted & inherently inhumane. Separating families, resulting in orphaned #pups is not a solution. Let's work together Montreal to create compassionate #coexistence. #Montreal @CBCMontrealhttp://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/coyote-trapping-called-inhumane …— Coyote Watch Canada (@CoyoteWatchCAN)
Trapping the animals will not "fix" the problem. Other coyotes will likely just come and take their place and forcibly removing an animal from it's "known habitat" is considered to be inhumane.
Anita Kapuscinska, communications manager of the Montreal SPCA, insists that rather than trapping and relocating the animals, the money spent by Projet Montreal would be better spent on public awareness and education on the matter and that Vancouver has "found a way to coexist with their coyotes."
Groupe Prévost-Fortin has declined interview requests and refused to specify its role in the contract with the city.
More details will be released in the from Projet Montreal in the coming weeks.