Lambton resident says coyotes becoming more aggressive
Lambton Shores officials urge residents from Forest to Thedford to be vigilant after a string of “very aggressive” coyote attacks on livestock in less than a year. (Postmedia file)
After a coyote threatened her two-year-old grandson, Donna Laird and her husband decided they had to do something.
Laird and her husband, Ron, grow crops and raise goats, fowl and other animals on an Arkona Road farm in Lambton Shores where his parents and grandparents farmed before them.
Donna Laird said coyotes always have been around, but have never been as bad as during the last two years.
Days ago, her husband shot a coyote that killed six ducks and bloodied the couple’s two large dogs. That was a week after a coyote appeared ready to leap at her grandson who was outside with family members.
Laird said she and her daughter were doing chores when a coyote came out of a bean field within about three metres of the child, who was holding a guinea pig at the time.
The boy’s mother screamed and threw what she could find at the coyote.
“It crouched down like it was going to spring on him, and then she ran and kicked, and it ran,” Laird said.
“That’s pretty scary, when they’re that bold.”
Chris Martin, bylaw and protection services officer with Lambton Shores, said three “very aggressive” coyote attacks on livestock have been reported in less than a year in the Lambton County municipality, in an area between Forest and Thedford.
“In the previous three years, there might have been one,” he said.
“Particularly in agricultural areas where livestock is plentiful, I think people have to be increasingly vigilant,” Martin said.
The eastern coyote, in its present form, has been established through southern and central Ontario since the first half of the 20th century, according to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.
Concerns about coyotes have surfaced in recent years in Lambton County.
Laird said she says coyotes they would see on the farm didn’t appear as aggressive years ago.
“You might have the odd duck disappear, or a chicken of something, but they didn’t come into the barns, which they do now,” she said.
“They didn’t come in broad daylight, which they do now, and it was occasionally you’d see them. Now, we see them every day.”
Laird said their approach has been to leave coyotes that weren’t bothering them or their livestock alone.
“If you do shoot the ones that aren’t bothering you, other ones move in and they could be ones that have feasted on livestock” and now have a taste for it, Laird said. But she believes something has changed in recent years.
“The ones that are around now, are killers,” Laird said.
Laird said they don’t own a rifle, but her husband borrowed one after the incident a week ago.
“When they’re coming right up for my grandson, that’s it.”