Toronto Wildlife Centre capture coyote wandering in Scarborough: ‘This is not a happy ending’

By Lucas Casaletto

The Toronto Wildlife Centre says it has safely located a coyote that was the subject of an attack on a small dog in a Scarborough neighbourhood, adding that “this is not a happy ending” for the animal.

680 NEWS first broke the news of the coyote attack on July 21 after Scarborough resident Dorothy Kwan detailed an incident that saw her six-year-old Yorkshire Terrier, Macy, and her daughter, Lilly, attacked by the coyote on a morning walk.

Macy suffered 10 bite wounds and underwent surgery, receiving more than $6,000 worth of treatment in the canine ICU.


The Toronto Wildlife Centre says the collared coyote, “who has been the focus of much attention lately, especially in the media,” was captured August 9 thanks to the combined efforts of a wildlife veterinarian staff, Ontario Resources, and their rescue team.

“Pine Hills Cemetery coyote captured – not good news,” they wrote in a statement.

The wildlife group says that while the animal, known as “Urban 23,” has a permanent home within the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, this is not a positive development.

“This outcome could easily have been prevented by simply leaving this animal alone, and now he has lost the life he knows in the wild due to disruptive human behaviour,” the wildlife group said.

“Despite our initiatives working with Toronto Animal Services and Coyote Watch Canada to perform aversive conditioning and educate the public about the dangers of feeding wild animals, individuals continue to bring food to coyotes, even in neighbourhoods across Toronto.”

The Toronto Wildlife Centre told 680 NEWS back in July that the particular coyote that attacked Lily Kwan and Macy was tracked as part of a study authorized by the Ministry of Natural Resources to investigate urban coyotes and their behaviours.

Nathalie Karvonen, executive director at the Toronto Wildlife Centre, says people tend to feed coyotes with hopes of snapping pictures of the animal, which often leads to many problems.

“There are signs all over the place… they’re doing it anyway. That is the worst thing you can do,” Karvonen said at the time.

“Fed coyotes exacerbate situations that happened with this little girl and her dog.”

Toronto Wildlife Centre complete statement: 

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The Toronto Wildlife Centre reiterated that stance on Monday. They say that although coyote experts agree the behaviour of the animal was not aggressive, his comfort level around people grew as residents repeatedly fed him “to the point where his behaviour was no longer considered acceptable by City officials.”

“Human behaviour needs to change because wild animals fall victim as a result,” they said.

“Despite these initiatives, the widespread media coverage, and educational signs posted throughout the neighbourhood, feeding of the animals has continued – especially in the cemetery. One person was even seen walking past a sign that warned of the dangers of feeding, with food in their hand for a coyote.”

In an updated statement on Monday, Karvonen denounced the result.

“Some might consider this a happy ending, but we think the whole situation is just so sad,” she said.

“This coyote’s whole life has been changed, his whole future as a wild animal taken away, by the thoughtless and selfish actions of the people who refused to stop feeding him.”

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