Pets fast food for coyotes

To the City of Calgary transit bus driver who saved a 16-month-old pup from two coyotes out for an easy breakfast Wednesday.


To the City of Calgary transit bus driver who saved a 16-month-old pup from two coyotes out for an easy breakfast Wednesday.

Dawn Hagel, on her 6:30 a.m. run, was heading down a hill when she spotted the coyotes circling a truck where Duke, an Australian cattle dog, was cowering under the vehicle.

As Hagel pulled up, the two coyotes skittered off, and the pup was more than happy to jump aboard when she opened the bus door. The passengers accommodated the frightened dog with plenty of TLC..

“Undoubtedly, unequivocally, they were after the dog,” said Hagel. “The dog was breakfast.” Bite marks on its hind legs were later treated.

Duke had a licence around his neck and was safely returned to relieved owner Hugh Magill.

Magill, who adopted the pooch from an animal shelter, said he was out for his early-morning walk with Duke and his other dog when the pair spotted a coyote and bolted.

Ambushed by a second coyote lying in wait, the older dog fled to its owner, while the confused, younger guy headed for shelter under Magill’s truck.

Make no mistake about it. While coyotes are a pleasure to see in the wilderness, they are also cunning predators when it comes to pets, especially in an urban setting.

In Red Deer, they emerge along the heavily treed areas within the city in the wee hours, and get fat off pets, especially cats, allowed to roam the streets by irresponsible owners.

Those walking their dogs along Red Deer’s river-side trails should be aware their pups are an easy target for Mr. Wile-E, especially when one coyote appears, then lures the dog chasing it into an ambush of another coyote — or two, or three — hunkered down.


To the idiot responsible for Tuesday’s stunt over New York that caused panic in the streets and brought back horrific memories of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre.

For 30 minutes, a low-flying Boeing 747, accompanied by two F-16 fighter jets, buzzed around the city. The site of a huge passenger jet and two fighter planes whizzing over the tops of the Statue of Liberty and the lower Manhattan financial district, sent panicked office workers into the streets.

Surprise! The 747 is sometimes used as Air Force One by President Barack Obama. The incident was simply a “photo op” of the jet, approved by Louis Caldera, director of the presidential air fleet.

The White House is yet to explain why the filming was necessary and whom the filming was meant for.

Obama, who plans an inquiry into the incident, was not aboard the plane and was not informed of the photo op. Nor was New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “Why the Defence Department wanted to do a photo op right around the site of the World Trade Centre catastrophe defies the imagination,” he said.

Obama is fuming mad, saying Air Force One didn’t need a new publicity photo.

The president wasn’t informed, New York’s mayor wasn’t informed, and most important, the public wasn’t informed. Who’s running that government, anyway?

Rick Zemanek is an Advocate editor.

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