Stop feeding Nepean coyote, group tells Ottawa commuters: Coyote now sees cars as a food source

RVWS volunteers with a sign.

CBC News Posted: Nov 26, 2014 8:56 AM ET

The Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is warning commuters against feeding a coyote that has settled in Nepean.

“What’s happening with this coyote is that over time it’s been fed by passing cars and so it’s become accustomed to cars and getting food from cars. It sees cars as a food source,” said Heather Badenoch.

She was one of the volunteers who stood near the intersection of West Hunt Club Road and Woodroffe Avenue during rush hour Tuesday afternoon with a sign that read, “Do Not Feed Coyote.”

The City of Ottawa said it’s putting up a digital sign to warn people not to feed the coyote, as well.

The woods behind the nearby Nepean Sportsplex is home to other coyotes that continue to forage for themselves, Badenoch said. But one coyote in particular is frequently spotted by the road, putting him at risk of being hit by a car.

“The hope — and why we’re out here asking people to stop feeding him — is so that he just resumes his normal wild behaviour,” Badenoch said.

Leftovers from a passing car is not the right diet for a coyote either, she said.

“If you can imagine what you’d be willing to throw out your window at the end of your day, it’s not what he needs to survive,” she said.