Coyote family with 9 puppies occupying a stone wall in Arbor Lake


A family of coyotes have made their home among large boulders piled up on a stone wall in the northwest community of Arbor Lake. Neighbors have observed the nine puppies as well as at least one very protective parent, and city officials are asking the public to keep a respectable distance.

Peter Dugandzic, who has lived in Arbor Lake for just over a year, observes the den almost daily.

“[The mother coyote’s] I entered and left the area being very aggressive at times, actually scaring the residents of the community, ”he said. “And now that we know why, it’s a bit of a surprise. “

  • Watch the puppies nibble and play:

Dugandzic often sees the female coyote early in the morning at the corner of Arbor Vista Hill and Arbor Lake Drive NW.

“She will be here around the corner to observe things, and I had no idea why she was staying so close to that corner,” he said, adding that he had heard officers say that the way the Stones are stacked up making the den a perfect natural hiding place for the coyote family.

“I saw them this morning, they are still quite small,” he said. “They are very playful. And she watches from a distance and makes sure no one gets too close.”

A litter of seven coyote puppies play outside their den in Arbor Lake. (Pierre Dugandzic)

Chris Manderson, head of urban conservation at Calgary Parks, said the city is alerting all area residents with signs, door hangers and snow fences along the sidewalk in front of the den. He asks people to keep their distance and to make sure pets are also kept at a distance.

“Please don’t bring your dogs to this area, give them some space, let mum do whatever she wants,” he said, adding that dogs could be considered as a threat or potentially prey.

“She’s obviously going to be pretty protective of the puppies. Of course we’re afraid things like puppies will be hit by cars.”

Manderson said dens are all over town – they currently guard dens in Aspen, Springbank and Nose Hill – but this one is unusually close to the sidewalk.

“Mom will be protective, it’s just natural,” he said. “The mother will protect her puppies so please stay away from the animals for this reason alone. You don’t want to put yourself in danger.”

People approaching the puppies could also stress the animals, he noted.

“It can be nice to take a selfie or get very close and take a picture, but if you think about the impact on the animal, it’s usually not a good thing,” he said. -he declares.

Manderson urges area residents to check their garden for tempting food, pet food, and compost. Instead, coyotes will hunt natural prey like mice and rabbits, he said.

“They live with us, they are all over Calgary. They play a very important role in the proper functioning of the ecosystem.

(Pierre Dugandzic)

An alarming encounter

Bruce Dielissen, who lives in the area, says he had an alarming encounter two years ago there.

“You are happily walking along the path, enjoying the day, and all of a sudden, as we walk past these rocks, we have the two coyotes, mum and dad, coming down the hill, charging us onto the sidewalk, ” he said.

He said an observant driver passing by and honking the vehicle’s horn helped defuse the situation.

Manderson hopes the coyotes will soon leave their south-facing den in the rocks.

“They usually do [move] two to three times a season anyway, so ideally for us, if we give them some time and space, she can move them around on her own and eliminate the worry. “

This south-facing stone wall at Arbor Lake attracted a family of coyotes. (SRC)

With files from Helen Pike

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