Sunday, 30 January 2011

Coyotes sighted near Manitoba school

Last Updated: Friday, January 28, 2011 | 12:23 PM CST

A coyote sighting near a rural Manitoba school prompted staff to keep kids inside on Thursday.

Officials with the Rural Municipality of St. Francois Xavier called to warn administrators at St. Francois Xavier Community School that some of the animals were seen in the area.

Staff kept an eye out for the animals but didn't see any during the morning, so the kids were allowed to go outside for recess.

But the principal spotted two coyotes in a field near the school grounds in the afternoon, leading to a cancellation of the afternoon recess, said Bruce Wood, superintendent of Prairie Rose School Division.

Although coyotes are typically shy around people, "any wild animal is unpredictable and we certainly don't want any kind of an incident with children," he said, noting that is the first time a coyote has been that close to the school.

Wood said there have been no further sightings since then, and the municipality's pest control officer is on alert.

The school also sent a note home about the incident.

Parent Theresa Montgomery applauded the school's decision to keep the students inside, but said coyotes aren't uncommon in the area.

"It's just one of the facts of living in a rural area," she said.

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