Chances are you've probably seen a coyote before. These gangly, "smaller wolves on steroids", aren't as shy as their larger cousins and are known for snatching small dogs and cats out of peoples backyards. Honestly, they aren't all that uncommon, and occasionally you'll see one wandering around the outskirts of the city. No big deal, right?
Well, kind of a big deal after this weekend. In less than one week, there have been three coyotes attacks in Montreal. All on children. All in one borough.
It's really hard to believe, but it's true. Ahuntsic-Cartierville residents are hiding their kids after the most recent attack on three year old boy Saturday night. As a coyote was circling Parc des Hirondelles that evening parents began trying to chase it away, that plan backfired horribly as the coyote ended up biting the kid on his leg.
Earlier last week, two more kids were attacked by coyotes in the same area. One being at the exact same park as the Saturday incident. Luckily, none of the kids suffered any major injuries, but for residents of the borough there's still a massive amount of fear around leaving your house in the evening hours.
According to people who live in the area, coyotes are seen almost every night, and the city has never done anything about it. The City of Montreal's website announced that they believe coyotes aren't a threat to humans and that their presence is beneficial to Montreal's ecosystem. Although the city is claiming the issue of coyotes attacking people is being monitored, no one really believes that they're doing enough.
Regardless, the best thing to do right now is to avoid going out after sunset and keep an eye out for the large critters. If you do end up going out, try and pick a friend to take with you, that way your chances of seeing one of the aggressive coyotes will be a lot less likely. You may want to stay away from any parks for now though.
Be careful, Montreal!