Police have shot and killed a coyote on the grounds of a North York school after it reportedly bit two people at a nearby park over the weekend.

The coyote was cornered along a fence at Hollywood Public School near Bayview Avenue and Sheppard Avenue sometime on Monday morning by members of the Emergency Task Force and Toronto Animal Services.

It remained there for more than an hour while police cleared out several portable classrooms and had students and staff shelter-in place inside the school.

Then just before 11 a.m. the animal was shot and killed by a member of the Emergency Task Force who had set up on the roof of a portable classroom with a rifle.

“On arrival, it was determined the coyote was believed to be the same one that had attacked two people this weekend,” Const. Jenifferjit Sidhu said in a written statement provided to CP24 on Monday afternoon. “There were concerns the animal would continue to roam and from a public safety standpoint, a decision was made to put the animal down. Officers liaised with the school to make sure the incident was not viewed by the children.”

Police had previously told CP24 that they were holding the scene until Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) staff could deal with the wild animal.

However, the Ministry of Natural Resources later confirmed that it was not contacted about the situation and that municipalities do not need its “approval or authorization” to resolve issues involving aggressive coyotes.

“Aggressive coyotes are unlikely to change behaviour and in such cases humane trapping and dispatch methods may be the most appropriate response,” a spokesperson for the ministry wrote.

Video footage from the scene showed the coyote lying on the ground when it was struck by a single round in the shoulder area.

The force of the gunshot initially flipped the coyote onto its back but it eventually got up and ran through the school yard before eventually collapsing on a baseball diamond nearby. 

The location where the coyote was trapped was about 500 metres east of Bayview Village Park, where a coyote reportedly bit two people over the weekend.

“Unfortunately it was a dynamic situation that happened really quickly. We did consult the Toronto Wildlife Centre. They were on scene trying to help evaluate on the potential non lethal capture of the animal but it was determined that option was not viable and to protect the public safety after a number of people were attacked yesterday the option to humanely euthanize the animal was taken,” Toronto Animal Services Manager Jasmine Herzog told CP24.

Herzog said that Toronto Animal Services “does not typically lean towards lethal force unless there is a bona fide risk to the public.”

But in this case she said that threshold was met, based on both “abnormal behaviour” exhibited by the animal as well as the two biting incidents on Sunday.

“Attacks from coyotes are extremely rare. This is not normal behaviour by any means and with the fact that this animal was displaying this abnormal behaviour and eventually harming members of the public the decision to humanely euthanize the animal was made,” she said.