Wildlife groups are urging the city of Ottawa to stop hunting coyotes after they were found trapped in McCarthy Woods.
But the city says it uses only humane soft catch traps and has no ongoing trap operations. We’ve run into and eliminated traps that don’t work,” said Roger Chapman, director of the city’s ordinance and regulatory services.
“Remind residents that such matters should not be taken into their own hands. This type of activity requires extensive training and a license issued by the Ontario Department of Natural Resources and Forestry. “
However, the capture of coyotes and the methods used to capture them also appear to be in a tangle of jurisdictions.
McCarthy Woods is owned and controlled by the National Capital Board. Anita Tamraj, spokesperson for the Ontario Department of Natural Resources and Forestry, said licensed trappers have been hired by the city to manage the coyotes at various locations in the city and at NCC facilities. Conservation officials were watching the trap, she said.
Lesley Sampson, CEO of Coyote Watch Canada, said volunteer field workers went to McCarthy Woods on November 28 and found a coyote stuck in a trap around its neck. The volunteer left and came back, but the coyote was gone. The trap was gone, Sampson said, and there was blood on the ground.
She believes the snare is a “loose cable restraint”, a live-capture cable device approved for restraining animals.
“But you can imagine the effect that would have on animals,” Sampson said. “That poor animal was in so much pain. Finding that coyote was pretty traumatic for our reps.”
Coyote Watch volunteers are dispatched to answer calls regarding coyote illnesses and injuries. The group works with wildlife rehabilitation organizations and a network of veterinarians, but releasing coyotes from legally set traps is illegal.
According to Sampson, had they known traps were not allowed, they would have sent a trained team to assess the coyotes and transport them to care if necessary. A sign with the Ontario logo was posted in McCarthy Woods just one day before she was discovered from the state, she said, indicating the trap was “working.”
The portion of the sign that normally showed the trapper’s contact information had been removed. There was also orange tape marking the snare position, suggesting an experienced trapper was at work.
In early October, the city asked residents to avoid McCarthy Woods and the hydraulic corridor along its northern border between McCarthy Road and Riverside Drive during “wildlife management operations.”
The operation was launched in response to concerns that coyotes were not afraid of humans and snatched family pets. A group of neighbors saw a small dog taken away.
The city said it targets savvy coyotes (coyotes that are no longer afraid of humans) and will confine and euthanize at least one coyote if necessary. On November 4, the city announced that the coyote control operation had been completed and that three “highly accustomed” coyotes had been captured alive and humanely euthanized for public safety reasons.
Chapman said Thursday that the city is not engaged in trapping at this time and has not used traps this fall.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry was aware of hand-made signs in the area encouraging residents to engage in trapping activities, Tamuraji said. Department of Conservation officials have instructed trappers to remove the Ontario logo.
Sampson said there are also serious reports of coyotes dragging traps that aren’t tethered to their legs. These reports started about two weeks ago and were recently released on Wednesday.
Chapman said the city was aware of soft catch traps attached to the front paws of coyotes in the McCarthy Woods area.
“The traps are humane and specially designed to not harm the animals. In fact, coyotes are very mobile and have no damage to their legs. This kind of scenario sometimes happens during trap operations.” said Chapman.
“This particular trap was missing at the end of the wildlife management operation in November. It was only days after sightings of coyotes with entrapped legs were reported to the ordinance. We are actively working with our partners to capture the coyotes.”
Riverside Park South resident Carolyn Singlehurst said there have been recent coyote sightings in her neighborhood, including some very large animals as big as huskies.
Ms Singlehurst knew three coyotes were trapped and euthanized, but she didn’t know the trap was still in progress and that McCarthy Woods was being trapped. “The children are going to play in the woods,” she said.
She also doesn’t want to see a coyote trapped in a trap. “It is utterly inhumane. The suffering will be terrible.”
By Thursday afternoon, the sign and the orange tape were gone.
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Source link City of Ottawa says no coyote traps allowed in McCarthy Woods