Now, this is pretty wild. Kingston Fire and Rescue received a call from several bystanders reporting of a helpless dog that had wandered off onto the frozen waters of the Cataraqui River. Once the crew managed to get a close enough look at the animal, though, they realized they were about to unwittingly launch an Ontario coyote rescue. The animal was in fact a coyote playing it coy rather than a doggo in distress.
According to the Kingston Whig-Standard, rescuers responded to reports of help needed north of the LaSalle Causeway on the Cataraqui River on Monday, January 20 at around 10 a.m.
Residents believed the animal lying on the ice was an injured dog and so wanted to do everything in their power to bring the pup home safe.
Upon further inspection, though, it turned out the creature was of a slightly wilder variety.
"KFR responded to reports of a dog on the ice this morning just north of the LaSalle Causeway," reads a tweet issued by Kingston Fire and Rescue.
"After further investigation, it was determined to be a coyote."
Photos taken at the scene by a local photojournalist, Ian McAlpine, show the situation.
. @KtownFire checked out the animal on the ice just north of the #LaSalleCauseway and determined it to be a coyote… https://t.co/4pUwz1gGdX— Ian MacAlpine (@Ian MacAlpine)1579538574.0
The old wily coyote appears to be unconcerned by the panic it has caused and lies there just chilling.
Some of the people who called the police had apparently speculated the animal was a coyote rather than a dog. Three of the animals had been reported moving across the ice.
The crew ventured out with an inflatable boat used for rescues. They got as close as 60 metres to the coyote before realizing their mistake, platoon chief Mike Keiley told the Whig-Standard.
“In this case, the animal was too far out for us to be able to determine quickly, so we sent a crew out partway until they could determine from a safe distance that it was, in fact, a coyote, and we’re not in the business of rescuing coyotes from the ice,” he added.
KFR responded to reports of a dog on the ice this morning just north of the LaSalle Causeway. After further investi… https://t.co/fqlpjEzRlU— Kingston Fire (@Kingston Fire)1579540844.0
Keiley stressed that had this animal turned out to be an injured pet dog as first suspected, they would have proceeded with the rescue.
“If it’s safe to do so, we will rescue pets. We’ve done many rescues of pets that have gone through the ice,” he said.
The wild animal was clearly minding his own business but when it spotted the cire crew inching closer and closer, it locked eyes with them, according to the Whig-Standard.
We don't blame them for not attempting the rescue, in all honesty.
Not only are coyotes experienced in surviving in the wild of Ontario's winter in a way that pet dogs obviously aren't, but they can also be vicious.
There have been several coyote attacks on dogs across the province in recent years, so approaching one is not be the best idea, even for trained personnel.
The coyote that was on the ice just north of the LaSalle Causeway this morning appears to have moved on.— Ian MacAlpine (@Ian MacAlpine)1579543826.0
Even predators get stuck sometimes, though.
That was proven back in November when a coyote pup was rescued after having its head wedged in a food container for days on end.
Thankfully, in this latest incident, no person or animal was injured.
Per the Whig-Standard, the coyote had wandered off later in the day.
Kingston Fire and Rescue, though, did use the incident as a "friendly reminder" to the public to not venture onto the ice and to keep pets safe in a constantly-changing climate this time of year.