Emaciated coyote pups have been spotted roaming through a South Surrey residential neighbourhood.
Residents who spoke to Peace Arch News say the animals have been observed along 24 Avenue near 141 Street for more than two weeks.
Crossing the road, they have occasionally brought traffic to a stop.
“They’re pups and they look really, really sick,” said resident Lisa Castle, who first noticed the young coyotes July 12. “They look very, very skinny. I’m worried about them. I just hope someone can help them.”
The sightings have been reported in an area of big houses on large lots with many trees.
Last week, resident Lynn Brandt saw two coyotes sitting on a sidewalk together and managed to get pictures of one.
“It was just kind of walking around,” she said, adding that both are severely underweight and appear to be suffering from mange.
“It’s really sad.”
The Critter Care animal rescue agency in Langley, together with provincial conservation officers, have been trying to rescue the animals by leaving out sedative-laden treats, Brandt said.
She’s been told by Critter Care that the pups have likely been orphaned or have parents who are too ill or injured to care for them.
The hope is the animals can be recovered, then nursed back to health at Critter Care before being released into the wild far away from any urban area.
An online BC Ministry of Environment posting notes that coyotes are usually not a threat to people, especially adults.
“Problems between children and coyotes are usually the result of the coyote becoming conditioned/comfortable with people as a result of direct or indirect feeding,” the website says, indicating residents often will either give the animals treats or fail to properly secure their garbage and compost.
The provincial Wildlife Act forbids feeding coyotes.
If a coyote is acting aggressively, it should be reported by calling 1-800-663-9453.
Other tips: ensure that garbage and compost is inaccessible, that outdoor pet food is securely stored, fruit is picked from trees and off of the ground and any potential habitat for the rodents coyotes feed on, such as neglected yards, garages or sheds, is kept clear.
A sturdy fence that is at least two metres tall will discourage coyotes from entering yards.
However, the fence must be dug into the ground or a least flush to the ground to prevent coyotes from going under it.