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A 4-year-old boy was injured by a coyote in Winnipeg’s North Kildonan neighbourhood on Friday evening, in the second such incident in less than a week. The boy was treated and released from hospital, but the attack has raised concerns about the safety of children and pets in the area.

According to Manitoba’s Conservation Officer Service, the attack occurred in the Headmaster Row area of North Kildonan. The boy was playing outside with his family when a coyote approached and bit him on the arm. The boy’s father scared the coyote away by yelling and throwing objects at it.

The boy suffered minor puncture wounds and scratches, but did not require stitches or rabies shots. He is expected to make a full recovery.

This was the second coyote attack involving a child in Winnipeg in less than a week. On June 24, a nine-year-old boy was mauled by a coyote in the River East area of northeast Winnipeg, at Popko Crescent and Knowles Avenue. The boy was walking with his sister when they noticed the coyote, which ran towards them as they fled. The boy was bitten on the head required staples and stitches to close his wounds.

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Coyotes are common in urban areas across Canada, and usually avoid humans. However, they can become more aggressive if they are:

Hungry: Coyotes may be looking for food sources in residential areas, especially if their natural prey is scarce or if people feed them intentionally or unintentionally.

Defensive: Coyotes may perceive humans or pets as threats to their territory or their pups, especially during breeding and denning season (April to August).

Habituated: Coyotes may lose their fear of humans if they are exposed to them frequently or if they associate them with food or other rewards.

The province’s Conservation Officer Service advises people to take the following steps to prevent coyote attacks:

  • Be vigilant: Supervise children and pets closely when outdoors, especially at dawn and dusk when coyotes are more active. Keep pets on a leash and do not let them roam free or chase wildlife.
  • Be alert: Watch for signs of coyote activity, such as tracks, droppings, howling or sightings. Report any aggressive or unusual behaviour to local authorities.
  • Be smart: Do not feed coyotes or leave food or garbage accessible to them. Secure compost bins, bird feeders and fruit trees. Clean up pet waste and spilled bird seed.
  • Be assertive: If you encounter a coyote, do not run or turn your back. Make noise, wave your arms, throw objects and do what you can to appear large and intimidating. Stay in a group if possible and back away slowly.

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