An unfortunate encounter between a driver and one of the area’s more infamous residents is a stark reminder that the city is shared with wildlife. A young female coyote died after running in front of a car on Queen Street East at Silver Birch Avenue on Dec. 16.
Shortly before 1 p.m., the animal was hit by a passing car. Beacher Jeremy Campbell came upon the scene shortly after the accident, and said some passerby were visibly shaken by the accident.
Staff from the nearby Beaches Animal Hospital rushed to the scene and took the coyote to the clinic on a stretcher, though when they responded, it was for a call about a car-dog collision.
“People still thought it was somebody’s pet dog at that point,” said Campbell.
Dr. Mark Dilworth ran a wildlife rehabilitation centre at the Kortright Centre for about eight years, and is no stranger to coyotes. He was heading in for his shift at the Beaches Animal Hospital, where he has worked for about a decade, when the coyote was brought in.
Dilworth said the clinic is not licensed as a rehabilitation centre, “but we certainly won’t allow any animal to suffer.”
By the time he arrived, the coyote was dead. He said it was an unfortunate situation when a wild animal crosses paths with the modern environment.
“The existence of coyotes in amongst the Beaches has been a contentious issue, but at the end of the day they’re just trying to survive like every other animal,” said Dilworth.
Toronto Animal Services were later called to the veterinary clinic and disposed of the coyote’s body, confirmed Tammy Robbinson from the City of Toronto’s communications department.
Campbell said while nobody expects a coyote to run in front of the car on Queen Street in the middle afternoon, it’s a reminder that the unexpected isn’t impossible.
“I almost hit a deer on University (Avenue) at three in the morning, so you never know what’s going to happen,” he said.
While the Beaches Animal Hospital was only a block away from the accident scene, Dilworth said wild animals are best treated by wildlife experts in most cases.
Anyone who spots wildlife in distress can contact the Toronto Wildlife Centre or the city’s Animal Services department. In a worst case scenario, some veterinarians will offer euthanasia if there is no other option.