City officials offered an update on the coyote problem in Montreal Monday, saying the goal is to educate people and find a way for humans and coyotes to coexist.

“Many people discovered that coyotes were living in Montreal” in the summer of 2017 said Emilie Thuillier, borough mayor of Ahuntsic-Cartierville

Throughout the next year, sightings grew to almost 1,000, with the majority in Thullier’s borough.

In July 2018, three children were bitten.

The city says its management plan prioritizes safety, but ultimately it will help humans co-exist with coyotes – because research from other North American cities has shown that trapping and relocation the animals doesn’t work.

“If we just remove them, some others will come back, very quickly,” said Frederic Bussiere of the City of Montreal parks department.

The management plan is broken down into three parts:

1) Information gathering

Residents who spot a coyote are urged to call the city’s coyote info-line at 438-872-COYO.

Thullier said the info-line should be called regardless of how a coyote is behaving.

“Even if the behaviour of the coyote is normal because it's really important for us to have some data: where are the coyotes, what are they doing, how they use the territory,” she explained.


2) Communication

Officials want to help residents understand their part in drawing coyotes into urban areas.

“Coyotes are acting as they do because we as humans put out, for example, garbage so they can just get and grab it,” said Thullier.

Experts have long said feeding wild animals has dire consequences.

“The best way to kill an animal is to start feeding it,” said Bussiere.


3) Intervention

A hazing campaign is ongoing, trying to make coyotes afraid of humans again.

“We will take action with hazing campaign first, and if necessary with capture and euthanizing them,” said Thullier.

Officials said that has only happened one time.