Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Trapper warns of coyote problem in Timmins

A well-known and respected local trapper says Timmins area residents need to be mindful of the “coyote problem” in the city.
Bill Russell says the latest incident, where a dog was attacked Friday night, “is typical” as winter is setting in and the animals are getting hungry and desperate.
“It’s not a new problem,” says trapper Russell, “a bunch of them took down an elk this past summer.” Russell says he was called out to a local resort park after coyotes killed a pregnant elk.
The Friday night incident occurred outside a home on Sandy Falls road as the owner Duane Shannon was putting up Christmas lights with the help of his son Nikolas. Their dog Riley, a golden retriever, was romping in the snow nearby.
Suddenly nearby in the darkness, the dog yelped.
“My husband knew right away something was wrong,” said Cindy Shannon.
“He hollered at the dog and went right over,”she said.
“He was all full of saliva, like he was all wet,” said Duane.
“We brought him in the house, and he was walking really bad,” Duane explained
“I seen a drop a blood and then another drop of blood,” he said, adding that it was difficult to find out exactly where the blood was coming from.
“We couldn’t see anything because the hair is so thick eh.” Duane said the bleeding just wouldn’t stop
“So we brought him out to the vet and she shaved him real good and that’s when we saw all the punctures,” he said.
The dog had been grabbed by the throat.
Russell says it’s a classic attack method by a coyote. He says the coyotes live and die by their ability to hunt and kill. Russell says domestic dogs are easy prey for wild coyotes.
“Don’t think that because you have a big dog, it can stand up to coyote,” said Russell “They hunt and kill to live.”
The Shannons admitted they were not surprised since they had seen coyotes lurking in the fields near their home, which sits on a large tract on flat land.
After returning home from the veterinarian clinic, the Shannons called the Ministry of Natural Resources and were told the MNR is not responsible for animal control. The ministry referred them to Russell who is licensed to live-trap nuisance animals.
Russell’s advice for residents living near the bush is “not to let your animals wander alone.”
He says many residents have complained of dogs and cats being lost, or even “kidnapped” in recent months. Russell says he believes animals are more likely the victims of the coyotes who are preying on an easy source of food.

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