Cory Organ got a fright Friday morning as he was on his way out his front door. He found a rather brave coyote watching him from outside his living room window.
Organ, a heavy equipment operator from St. Alban’s on Newfoundland’s south coast, had a brief moment of panic when he remembered his dog, a golden lab, was tied up outside his front door.
He hurried to bring his dog inside, but was stopped dead in his tracks by what he saw. The two animals were getting along famously.
It was the strangest thing, chuckled Organ.
“The coyote came over and lifted his head right on back of my dog’s neck. They just kind of rubbed their heads together a little bit. Dog kind of brushed him (or her, it’s unclear which) off in a pretty playful manner. The coyote just kind of wandered around the house a little more, then he’d come back to the dog.”
Seeing there wasn’t an imminent throw-down fight in the works Organ calmed down and watched the coyote for about 10 minutes as it wandered around his house, stopping periodically to nuzzle with his dog.
At one point Organ whipped out his cellphone and shot a short video clip of the encounter. The clip is available online at www.thetelegram.com.
He’s been seeing more coyotes around the community lately, he mused, and he can remember seeing this animal in particular once or twice.
It’s a new trend that makes him uncomfortable.
Friday’s encounter seems cute, he said, but he would still not trust a wild animal.
“He was pretty sly, you know what I mean? He didn’t hurt the dog and he didn’t seem like he was a threat to the dog, but it was still a pretty uneasy feeling to have him out there,” he said.
There’s been a lot of talk of coyotes in Newfoundland and Labrador lately. A huge animal, believed to be a coyote weighing 82 pounds, was shot on the Bonavista Peninsula earlier this month and reported sightings in urban centres have been making headlines.
Whether these sightings mean that the coyote population is on the rise, or simply that reports and media attention are increasing, remains to be seen.
The Department of Environment and Conservation advises coyote attacks on humans are extremely rare, but can occur when the animals start to associate humans with food.
It says never leave edible garbage or pet food uncovered outside, have pets spayed or neutered and keep animals indoors unless under supervision. The department also advises anyone having recurring problems with a coyote to contact a conservation officer. It also advises hikers to carry walking sticks for protection.
Organ said he would keep a closer eye on his beloved pooch from now on.
A screen grab of a video clip shot by St. Alban’s resident Cory Organ shows a coyote nuzzling his dog Friday morning. — Telegram screen grab