People in Toronto neighbourhood afraid after coyote attacks woman in her garden


TORONTO -- A Toronto woman says that a bold coyote nipped her pant leg off while she was gardening in a Scarborough neighbourhood this morning.

“I felt my pant pulled so I turned around quickly and I saw the coyote behind me,” she said.

Audrey Liu says when she turned around the coyote was standing right next to her.

“I was so scared I fell on the lawn,” She tells CTV News Toronto.

She said the coyote just stood there and wasn’t afraid until a neighbour came running out and made some noise. Only then did the coyote run off, Liu said.

The townhouse subdivision near Warden Avenue and St. Clair Avenue East has been has been rattled by the so-called aggressive coyote.

Last week, 10-year-old Lily Kwan was walking her tiny dog named Macy when the coyote started chasing them.

Lily said she was so scared she dropped the leash and ran for help, while Macy engaged the coyote seemingly protecting Lily.

Macy spent several nights in the emergency vet’s intensive care unit after getting puncture wounds from the attack.

After nipping Liu’s pant leg this morning, the coyote ran after another woman and her dog.

Shahzeen Jiwani told CTV News Toronto that she was out with her dog named Momo for a morning walk.

“When I turn around I see the coyote facing my dog right about to take a bite. I pulled the leash as soon as I could, and I started screaming at the coyote telling it to go away, the coyote didn’t listen and started getting closer to us,” she said.

“I panicked, I started to run screaming for help. The coyote started chasing us across the street until someone heard me and told me to run into her garage.”

The people living in this child friendly neighbourhood say they are scared, and want something done.

“When are they going to take action? Does someone actually have to be hurt, or go to the hospital for the city to take action?” Jiwani said.

Lily’s Mom, Dorothy Kwan, says she is far too afraid to go outside with Macy and now carries a pipe in case the coyote attacks again.

She saw it again the other night and banged on her recycling bin with an umbrella, but says the coyote was not afraid of her and just stood there.

“What I want done is for … [the government] to capture this animal, they know which one it is. Relocate it, euthanize it. Right now, it is not scared of people and that poses a great danger to us in our community and our pets,” she said.

The City of Toronto is aware of the incident this morning where Audrey Liu was nipped and says it is investigating.

“An attack or bite on another animal is not grounds for removal. If there is a bite to a human, the incident will be investigated and could result in the coyote being trapped and humanely euthanized,” the city said.

Coyote Watch Canada founder Lesley Sampson was in the neighbourhood today working with the City of Toronto to locate the coyotes and make it uncomfortable for them to roam the neighbourhood, sending them back to their natural habitat.

They are after food, Sampson said, and the neighbourhood must do its part.

“For a residential area like this if the food source is removed coyote’s are not going to be here because there is nothing for them to eat, they are going to disperse into another part of their territory and not hang around,” Sampson said.

The Ministry of Natural Resources issued a statement that stated that coyotes have been part of the Ontario landscape, including the urban areas for many decades.

“Coyotes have adapted well to urban environments and can now be found in both rural and urban settings,” the statement states.

“Changes in land use, agricultural practices, weather, supplemental feeding and natural food shortages may contribute to more coyote sightings in communities.”

Toronto Mayor John Tory writes in a statement that his office is fully engaged trying to find a way to keep everyone safe.

“I understand that residents in this Scarborough neighbourhood are very troubled by these increasingly brazen acts by this coyote,” he said.

“I am concerned by the reports we've seen in the media and hope this can be resolved before a person is seriously hurt or before a family pet is lost.”