Coyote captured outside Riverdale elementary school
Chris Herhalt, CP24.com
Published Friday, October 20, 2017 9:23AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, October 20, 2017 2:24PM EDT
Students were rushed inside a Riverdale public school Friday morning after a coyote was seen hiding behind a shed on the playground and later captured by an animal control officer.
Crystal Walker told CP24 she was walking her son to Withrow Avenue Junior Public School off of Broadview Avenue this morning at about 8:45 a.m. when she spotted and snapped a photo of the animal.
“We were walking to school like every other day and as we crossed the street we had parents stop us and say ‘just so you know kids are going inside right away because there was a coyote on the field this morning’.”
As she approached the school she said she saw the animal trapped between a fence and a shed on the playground.
Animal Control and several police officers arrived at the school after 9:30 a.m. to apprehend the animal.
Two people approached the rear of the shed where the coyote was hiding brandishing nets, but they later switched to a pole with an adjustable collar attached to one end.
The animal control officer put the collar around the coyote’s neck and started to pull the animal towards him.
The coyote was then placed in a net and put in a cage in the rear of a van.
“It was pretty smooth,” an animal control officer told CP24 at the scene. “He cooperated. He was more scared than anything.”
An animal control officer named Melissa said the coyote was not tranquilized and they hoped to take the animal to Toronto Wildlife Centre.
A CP24 reporter witnessed one police officer who arrived on scene draw an assault rifle from his cruiser and hold it while standing guard as the animal control worker approached the coyote.
Several sightings of coyotes were reported in the east end throughout this summer.
“It’s a little bit concerning,” Walker said of the sighting. “Last week one of my neighbours said that a postie (postal worker) on his route saw it on Sparkhall (Avenue), which is just one street over. So they are in the neighbourhood and I guess they are hungry.”
She said the quick arrival of Animal Control and police put her at ease.
“We have tiny little children here and you don’t want a wild animal running around with the potential of hurting them.”
An official with the Toronto Wildlife Centre says the coyote is in relatively good health, but does have some fur loss.
They say the coyote behaved as is customary when confronted by humans, and tried to hide. They expect to release the coyote at a yet to be determined time, in the same general area it was found.