The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is investigating reports of wolf or coyote attacks in Birds Creek.

The MNRF says it has received several reports of deer that had been hunted by either predator in residential parts of Birds Creek. Most recently, a deer carcass was found near the public school.

The Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board says student safety is its top priority. After receiving the reports, the board says it called the MNRF. The school yard was decreased in size as a precaution, and parents got calls and were sent a letter with wolf safety tips on it. The MNRF also recommends the school contact police immediately if a wolf or coyote wanders onto the grounds.

The MNRF says it’s extremely rare that a wolf or coyote would attack a person, but conflicts with humans do happen when the animals are looking for food, water, or shelter.

The ministry says there are some ways to keep wolves and coyotes away from your home. That includes never feeding them or the animals they hunt, keeping pet food inside, and locking the lids on your garbage cans. You can also make sure the animals don’t feel welcome on your property by cleaning brush piles and pruning bushes. Lights and noise makers will also help keep them away.

If you do come across a wolf or coyote, the MNRF is urging you not to touch it, don’t turn your back on it, and don’t run away. Instead, back away calmly, stand tall, waive your hands, and make lots of noise. You’re also reminded not to let your dogs chase them.

The ministry says killing the animal should be your last resort, but you are allowed to if it’s damaging your property. If you do, you have to follow all gun laws, and report the kill to the MNRF.

(Written by: Andreas Pandikiu)