Boa snake found dead in Mississauga river likely abandoned, Animal Services says

Mississauga Animal Services is sending a warning to residents after a snake and a coyote were spotted during two separate incidents in the city. Reporter David Zura has the details.

By Lucas Casaletto and David Zura

Animal services say that a smaller boa constrictor snake species found dead on the shores of the Credit River recently was likely abandoned, as officials deliver a separate warning of wildlife concerns with more coyote sightings in the region.

A video of the dead snake went viral this week after it was spotted near Erindale Park.

Officials have identified it as a common red-tailed boa, a popular boa constrictor species kept as pets due to their more docile temperament.

Mississauga Animal Services is warning residents after a snake and a coyote were spotted during two separate incidents in the city. Photo: CityNews archive.

“These snakes don’t get large enough to be considered a public safety risk,” said Jay Smith, Mississauga’s Animal Services manager.

“Given the temperatures, it was likely an abandonment.”

Because the Credit River runs through multiple jurisdictions, it’s unclear where the snake may have been set free.

Latest coyote sighting in Mississauga prompts warning from official

While boa constrictor sightings are far less common in Canada, the same cannot be said for coyotes, with officials once again calling on members of the public to be vigilant if they come across one.

A local man says he was walking with his small dog near the Credit River when a coyote approached and tried to go after his pet.

“The next thing I know, she came across in front of me, yelping. Something had smacked into my left, and I looked down; I originally thought it was a German Shepherd,” said resident Alvaro Furtado.

“I picked her up after the fact and got her home as quickly as possible.”

The dog was not harmed, Furtado said.

Smith, meanwhile, says encounters with coyotes are down, but sightings in the area remain high. The canine is attracted to “deliberate wildlife feeding,” such as chunks of meat or dinner plates left outside for them to access easily.

Photo: CityNews video.

During the interview with CityNews, Smith discovered a precise case of what leads to wildlife like coyotes being spotted on trails or near riverbanks.

“There’s an example of wildlife feeding right there,” Smith said, pointing to a small leftover of rice wrapped in aluminum foil. “We’re disappointed. Rice and possibly vegetables [left here].”

Citywide information session on coyotes to be held next week

CityNews has covered several stories relating to the feeding of coyotes and the ramifications it has on the increase in sightings and encounters with the wild animals.

Smith admits the problems have gotten worse.

“A lot of people are set in their ways. People are doing it because they love animals,” Smith noted, adding that it’s not a way to show care for wildlife, as it often does more harm than good, with wildlife becoming dependent on the food source.

The City of Mississauga is hosting a free information session on Feb. 15 to educate residents on coyotes and how to coexist in urban environments.

The session will feature presentations from Mississauga Animal Services staff, who will share information about coyote behaviour, mating season, safety tips and how to report coyote sightings or encounters. 

“Mississauga is home to a lot of wildlife, including coyotes. Coyotes are native to North America and live in natural areas, including suburbs and cities. Mississauga residents and visitors are encouraged to enjoy and live in harmony with wildlife by not interfering with their natural instincts and behaviours,” a city spokesperson said.

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