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Toronto woman has close encounter with coyote near Ontario Place

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A Toronto woman is warning others to be on the lookout after a coyote approached her while she was sitting on a park bench near Ontario Place last weekend.

In a 37-second video, which was posted to TikTok on Sunday and has been viewed almost 140,000 times on that platform, a medium-sized coyote is seen walking between two benches onto a waterfront pathway, just south of the Martin Goodman Trail. The wild canine then stops near a bench and is seen sniffing around and gazing out onto Lake Ontario before jogging off in a northerly direction towards Lake Shore Boulevard West.

The brief urban wildlife encounter was caught on film by a Fort York-area resident.

During an interview with CP24.com, Maria, who did not want to provide her last name, said that she was relaxing on a bench near Lake Ontario, just south of Liberty Grand, last Saturday at around 8:15 p.m. when what she initially thought was a dog came near her on two occasions.

The woman, whose back was partially turned to the animal, soon realized that what she was seeing out of the corner of her eye was actually a coyote.

“I was in a bit of shock. … I did not expect it,” said Maria, adding that she’s never been that close to a coyote before.

“It was extremely near to me, just at the end of the bench. If I were to have bent over, I could have pet him.”

Maria, a Fort York-area resident, recently captured a close encounters she had with a coyote on video. (Screengrab from TikTok post by @marusyaaks)

Admittedly a bit unsure about what to do, Maria said that her instinct was to stay put and remain as quiet and as calm as possible as to not as not appear confrontational in any way towards the wild animal, which she said seemed to be fairly comfortable around humans.

On her cell phone at that time, she slowly hit the record button and filmed the somewhat unnerving interaction before heading home a short time later.

“Thank you for not coming any closer, Mr. Coyote. I was in full crisis planning mode,” she captioned the footage.

Maria said that while it was “super beautiful and awe-inspiring” to see a coyote so close up, it was also a bit of a “disconcerting” experience.

“You never know because it’s a wild animal,” she told CP24.com.

“Just keep your distance, don’t interact.”

The City of Toronto says that while coyotes generally do not pose a danger to people they can pose a danger for pets.

On its website, the city says that residents who come in close contact with a coyote should not run away and instead “maintain eye contact and slowly back away.”

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