‘I was quite fortunate’: Winnipeg man warning others in his neighbourhood after being stalked by coyotes

A Winnipeg man is sharing his story of a close encounter with a group of coyotes last week.

Steven Roy said he was out rollerblading with his two dogs Friday night near Bishop Grandin in the Waverley Heights area.

While there, he said they came across four coyotes.

“Had all four of them swooping in, timing us, attacking us. And then they followed us very closely, interacting for pretty close to nine minutes straight,” said Roy.

He said he had heard there were sightings near some of the lakes in Waverley Heights, but still was quite shocked when they showed up.

Roy was eventually able to scare the coyotes away, noting he has two big dogs that made the interaction a little easier.

“I was quite fortunate to have 300 pounds worth of dogs with me, my two big guys. But, like I was saying, if it was any other circumstance with somebody else in that situation, I’m sure it wouldn’t have been an easy getaway. They were definitely pursuing us.”

Roy added an interaction like this is out of the ordinary for the neighbourhood and he wanted to make sure other people know what is going on to ensure they are safe.

“It was definitely too much. It brought a concern to me that I thought that definitely everybody in this neighbourhood should know about,” he said. “Hopefully (whatever) organization gets involved with this, can get a stop to it right away. We don’t want to see any cats going missing, dogs going missing, kids getting hurt.”

A spokesperson with the province said there are around 70 coyote sightings within Winnipeg city limits a year, but added most of these are just sightings, not conflicts.

“All reported conflicts in the city involve the presence of a pet, and there are generally two to three reports of coyote attacks on a person’s pet each year,” the spokesperson said.

They added coyotes usually try to avoid encounters with people, but get bolder and more aggressive when there are human-based food sources.

When it comes to dealing with pets, the province said people shouldn’t leave them outside unattended and they should be on leashes while out for walks.

If people have an encounter with a coyote, they are told to remain calm, pick up small pets or children and leave larger pets restrained. People are told not to run and to slowly back away, but not turn their back on the animal.

If a coyote approaches, people are told to act big, make loud noises and fight back.

Any incidents of coyotes approaching people in Winnipeg can be reported to 204-945-5221.

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