EDMONTON – Coyotes are excited by a new initiative from the Edmonton Urban Coyote project that involves throwing tennis balls and sticks. The goal of the initiative is to scare coyotes in order to increase their fear of humans so they stay away from residential areas, however, these classic instruments of fetch are the sign of affection that the urban coyote community had been longing for.
“Our dog cousins always get everything – special parks, treats, toys. Finally, humans have realized that we can just be as fun to play with,” said Crooked-Tail, who has a den in Glenora.
The coyote community in Edmonton has been steadily growing but until this initiative humans and coyotes had been at odds. A previous initiative involved placing chicken coops around the neighbourhood in hopes that the rooster’s crows would scare away the coyotes. This proved unsuccessful after numerous chickens mysteriously disappeared.
Scamp E. Coyote couldn’t believe his luck the first time a human threw him a tennis ball. “I looked around thinking it might have been meant for some basic canine, like a Max or Daisy, but no, it was meant for me!” explained Scamp E. “I rushed over and as I brought it back to its owner she started yelling ‘bad coyote’ so there were definitely some mixed messages in the game.” The experience left him shaken as that’s the kind of behaviour he’d expect from someone in Westmount, but not in Quesnell Heights.
A representative from the Edmonton Urban Coyote Project, Colleen Cassady St. Clair, who insisted that she was definitely not two coyotes in a trench coat, said that after years of struggling trying to control the coyote population it was time to embrace them as part of the neighbourhood. St. Clair told us, “If this doesn’t work, we’ll move into phase two where we will blast classical music on a frequency that only coyotes can hear to dissuade them from the bowls of treats that would be left around the parks.”
At press time, Edmonton’s coyotes were howling at the moon celebrating killing it in the game of fetch and letting area wolves know that they are now the total losers of the canine world.