News & Information

News & Updates from the park

03

Oct 2016

The Real Story – Kilcona’s Coyotes

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IMPORTANT UPDATE ON COYOTE SIGHTINGS AT KILCONA PARK

Over the weekend Winnipeg media reported that a Kilcona Park visitor was “swarmed” by a pack of coyotes.

Like most rumors, there’s a germ of truth in this story.

As the story went, the unidentified man and his dogs were in a very dangerous situation. The man was walking with his dogs after sunset when the coyotes allegedly began to circle him and his pets.

News reports indicated that the coyotes followed the man and his dogs from the park to their vehicle and that the coyotes continued to follow the vehicle as it left the park. Some authorities even speculated that the animals could be “coywolves” – despite fact that no coywolf populations have been identified in Manitoba.

Today the dog owner confirmed to authorities that these reports were inaccurate.

Authorities conclude that the coyote’s behavior was not at all predatory and the incident cannot in any way be described as “swarming”.

WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED IS QUITE A DIFFERENT STORY.

THE DOGS – TWO IRISH SETTERS  AND THE COYOTES INTRODUCED THEMSELVES WITH ALL THE USUAL BUTT-SNIFFING BEHAVIOR THAT WE SEE AT THE DOG PARK EVERY DAY.

Then they spent some time PLAYING TOGETHER.

THE COYOTES DID NOT FOLLOW THE VEHICLE AS IT LEFT THE PARK.

MB CONSERVATION HAS NO PLANS TO TRAP OR DESTROY KILCONA’S COYOTES.

MB Conservation reminds us that every major city in North America, including Winnipeg, hosts a large urban coyote population.

In this Sept. 2009 handout photo provided by Janet Kessler, a coyote is shown on a public street in San Francisco. However you feel about coyotes, they're an increasingly visible fact of life in many San Francisco neighborhoods, often straying beyond protected parkland and out into highly exposed residential areas. Wildlife researchers estimate that about a dozen coyotes live in San Francisco, a city with the second-highest population density in the country that's surrounded on three sides by water. (AP Photo/Janet Kessler) NO SALES MANDATORY CREDIT FOR PHOTOGRAPHER

When coyotes move into the city, most blend seamlessly into the urban environment. Wary of people, they stick to the edges of developed areas, remaining largely unseen during the day.

Studies show that the most successful coyotes are nocturnal—an adaptation they’ve developed to avoid humans. Most rely neither on family pets nor garbage for food. Instead, they stick to rodents, berries and other fruit, deer, and rabbits.

 

Coyote Playing With Captured Vole

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Coyotes have learned how to co-exist with us.  Now it’s up to us to do our part.

There are three types of behaviors that people may mistake for aggression in coyotes: following, staring and howling and yipping.

  1. Following: Coyotes are highly intelligent, curious creatures, very much like our own dogs. It’s not uncommon for them to follow hikers, joggers, or cyclists, particularly if they have a den nearby. This behavior is curiosity, not aggression.

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  1. Staring: Perhaps the most intimidating thing a wild animal can do is simply stare. Those big eyes watching you can seem very frightening. It isn’t about aggression; however, it’s about caution. You might be near a den site, a food source, or even have just startled the coyote. Most of the time, the coyote is watching you because you’re a big, frightening animal, and they don’t know what you’ll do.

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  1. Howling and yipping: The cacophony at night is amazing to hear, and it’s also frequently misunderstood. The scientific explanation is quite simple. What you’re hearing is the family’s GPS. Coyotes use howls and yips to let other family members know where they are, and to let other coyote families know that this is their territory.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Debbie DiCarlo / Rex Features (2731614b) Howling Good Time! Coyote Teaches Pups to Howl Howling Good Time! Coyote Teaches Pups to Howl These two coyote pups desperate to follow in their parent's pawprints start by learning to howl. The stunning images taken by wildlife photographer Debbie DiCarlo shows the cute pups learning the ropes from their elder, as the coyote tips back its head to let out an ear-piercing howl. Debbie, 59, who resides in Ohio, said: "The pups were so cute - exploring, playing and generally learning how to be a coyote. "The magic began when distant coyotes started to howl and the pups and adult started to answer back." DiCarlo got the shot during a spring photography workshop earlier this year at a wildlife preserve in Hinckley, Minnesota, where she was able to photograph baby animals. Charmed by how excited the pups were during the howling lesson Debbie said the shutter on her camera was moving so fast she was worried about it overheating. "I couldn't stop grinning from ear to ear, there was something so special to be amongst them at that moment, and the sight and sound will forever be imprinted in my memory," explained Debbie. The moment was so perfect, in fact, that sceptics accused DiCarlo of snapping a photo of a still life in a museum. Her response: "Howling Lesson has lots of sceptics who believe it to be a museum diorama. In fact, I have read that some think it is too perfect. My reaction? Thank you for such a wonderful compliment!" MUST CREDIT PICTURES TO: Debbie DiCarlo/Rex Features For more information visit http://www.rexfeatures.com/stacklink/KEAVEAORR

Coyotes want what all of us want: a safe place to raise their young and provide for their families.

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Manitoba Conservation Winnipeg District Supervisor, Joe Johannesson has provided KPDC  with a link to two important resources to help us all understand Kilcona’s dog-like neighbours  – a short documentary, “The Rise of the Urban Coyote” and a link to the City of Toronto website, “Wildlife in the City: Coyotes”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldtJjXhN8rI&feature=youtu.be

http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=559b83cf89870410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD&vgnextchannel=b220133adc1c1410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD

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01

Sep 2016

KPDC Platinum Sponsor Candice Daum Captures the Day!

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Watching Candice Daum capture a moment at Kilcona Dog Park is enough to convince anyone that outdoor dog photography can be messy business. The person behind the camera needs to be happy crawling through the mud and the grass, and bending and stretching at weird angles.

A dog photographer need to be comfortable being jumped on by Jack Russells, pawed by Pugs and kissed by Collies and Corgis. At some point, camera equipment gets covered in drool, shoes get peed on and everything and everyone’s covered in fur. So a dog photographer really, truly, needs to love dogs!

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A dog photographer also needs to be exceptionally patient. At the start of a shoot, an excited, playful subject may spend half an hour running, jumping and chasing other dogs before finally calming down enough to be photographed.  In the end, dog photographers know that they will never have that much control over their subject – try telling a puppy to sit still and tilt his head 45 degrees!

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Dog photography is similar to sports and wedding photography… if you miss a special moment; it’s not likely to be repeated. Candice is a professional photographer who’s always ready to capture those moments.

Candice is widely recognized for her amazing action shots.  A talented “photo-sniper” who specializes in high-speed animal photography, she waits for the action rather than ‘creating’ it. These kinds of images require a lot of experimentation, dedication, and patience. Pushing her equipment to the limit and developing new techniques for capturing images otherwise missed are hallmarks of her work.

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Candice is Manitoba’s only accredited animal sports photographer, endorsed by the Professional Photographers of Canada, which recognizes photographers who have reached a nationally accepted standard of proficiency and knowledge in photographic arts.

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KPDC’s Board would like to offer a special thank you to Candice for managing Pawcasso’s Photo Studio at Dog Fest Corn Roast – the studio’s busiest day ever! – and for generously donating all of the money from photo sales to KPDC’s project to bring clean water into the dog park.

To further help with KPDC’s fundraising efforts, between now and the end of September, Candice will also donate half  the proceeds from additional Dog Fest Corn Roast photos orders.

Thanks Candice! Your generosity in giving back to the community is appreciated by everyone who uses Kilcona Dog Park.

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22

Aug 2016

New Bag Box Marks the End of an Era

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Today marked the end of an era as Kilcona Park Dog Club retired the aging recycled bag container that club founder, Wayne L’Esperance built and donated to the park fifteen years ago. The “bag box”, like an old friend, served Kilcona’s dog community well – but after a decade and a half of service it was showing its age.

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In its place, underneath the map, there’s a sturdy new bag box, cheerfully painted a shiny bright red to match the new lost and found box that Bob Christie and Ann Gay constructed and installed last month.

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Kilcona Park Dog Club would like to thank Ann, Bob, and Angie Zalondek for generously donating all of the material and for the time, effort and care they put into manufacturing the new bag container. As Ann says, “We are happy to donate to a place our dogs love!”

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It’s people like Bob, Ann and Angie that make Kilcona Dog Park such a special place!

KPDC salutes these wonderful volunteers!

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22

Aug 2016

TERESA AND GORDIE’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE!

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The winners of Kilcona Park Dog Club’s 2015 “Make a Splash – “The Real Journey to Churchill!” raffle reported in on the each day of their awesome vacation.

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DAY 1

“Fabulous flight on Calm Air. Beautiful weather in Churchill. Tour of Fort Prince of Wales. Amazing history.

Then Sea North Tours boat out onto the Bay. Surrounded by a hundred curious white belugas. We were astounded. Even saw the grey babies! Very cute.

Exceeded all expectations. Can’t wait for tomorrow… Teresa & Gordie

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DAY 2

“Big hike today courtesy of North Star Tours – Sloops Cove to Fort Prince of Wales. Gorgeous weather again. History here is incredible.

Saw beautiful sandhill cranes and seals popping their heads up!

Night scene at Tundra Inn hopping. So many young people that are living and working in Churchill and loving it. Sunset and full moon topped off a great day!”

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DAY 3

“Today we went on a long ride along the coast to see the general Churchill area. Again, lots of history.

With the acknowledgement of the displacement of the Dene peoples I thought it appropriate to include a photo of some of the graves of the unfortunate. Lots of babies died of a rampant epidemic here.

But the best thing happened – we saw a polar bear rambling along Eskimo Point! I can go home happy now!

Staff at the Seaport Hotel have been excellent. They even found and put away a very expensive pair of glasses that accidentally fell out of my knapsack. What a relief! The room is well equipped, comfortable and clean.

After 3 days of incredibly beautiful weather, this evening the thunder and lightening hit and it is pouring now. We were very lucky.

We’ll see what tomorrow brings. Take care.”

Teresa & Gordie

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DAY 4

“What we thought was our last day here… Spent the day wandering in and out of every gift shop and museum we could. Eskimo Museum has the most incredible collection of Inuit sculptures from the 1940’s on.

A fog thick as pea soup rolled in and our 8:15 pm flight to Winnipeg was cancelled!!

Shuttle from Seaport Hotel was right there to take us back for a 4th night. Can’t get out until 3 tomorrow, IF the fog lifts. Oh well, better safe than sorry…”

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DAY 5

“We got home at 7:30 Friday night! We went back to the Seaport Hotel Thursday night. Flights were packed on Friday and we couldn’t get out until 3pm.

Extremely cold and windy now. Wow, did we have great weather for our tours earlier in the week! What a change! Flying into Winnipeg was like arriving at a warm, green jungle.

All in all, we both absolutely loved the entire experience of being so far north and would highly recommend it to anyone with an adventurous spirit. It is a beautiful and unusual place for people who only go south from Winnipeg.

Truly hope things work out for the people of Churchill. There’s going to be a lot of changes coming.

Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to take this trip to Churchill.”

Teresa & Gordie

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24

Jul 2016

Reflections on Niverville Dog Park

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Across North America, off-leash dog parks lead the way in new urban park development, growing by 89 percent since 2007. But off-leash parks are changing thanks to the growing number of informed and involved dog lovers.

Many dog parks, like the new one in Niverville, are being revamped to include amenities for people and dogs alike. They’re designed to provide an enriched, safe, attractive setting for exercise, fun and enjoyment.

This is what Kilcona Park Dog Club had in mind when the Board first proposed the water features project to the City of Winnipeg.

Aesthetic and functional, modern dog park features run the gamut. Most, including Kilcona, are equipped with benches and picnic tables, shade trees, and some kind of waste removal system, whether it’s mutt mitts, plastic bags, or pooper scoopers and trash receptacles.

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Almost all modern dog parks are equipped with a water station or drinking fountain for dogs and people. And if chasing a ball isn’t quite enough stimulation, a lot of parks now boast separate areas for agility courses and/ or play equipment.

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Doggy splash pad near Atlanta, GA.

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Buchanan Dog Park’s  “Tree of Dreams” shoots tennis balls!

Winnipeg dog owners don’t have to look far to see what can happen when a progressive-thinking municipality, volunteers, and businesses work together.

Niverville’s new dog park, hailed as a “Disneyland for Dogs” and a “One of a Kind in Manitoba”, opened yesterday through a public/private partnership between the municipality, which owns the land, and “Friends of Niverville Dog Park”, a volunteer organization like KPDC, that fundraises, works with sponsors, and donates equipment to the park.

Niverville’s Town Council and the public service are enthusiastic about the new park, believing it benefits the whole community by keeping dogs out of other public spaces and by attracting visitors to the community.

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Niverville volunteers and businesses installing dog park equipment

Until recently Niverville Dog Park was an underused baseball diamond. The Town of Niverville re-purposed the chain link fencing to turn the space into a fully fenced, landscaped municipal off-leash dog park complete with agility equipment – colourful ramps, jumps, tunnels, weaving poles, a teeter totter, waste bag dispensers, litter baskets, a recycling bin and a dog-themed seating area.

Agility is the ability to move quickly and easily; it’s about being nimble. Niverville Dog Park’s agility equipment is really a metaphor for the entire community. Local businesses constructed the equipment; the Town of Niverville prepared the concrete pads and volunteers installed the structures. Niverville’s dog park was developed in less than a year because the town’s agility and a surplus of good will and a remarkable effort by everyone involved.

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Opening day at Niverville Dog Park –  a family affair!

In contrast, at Kilcona Dog Park, the long-awaited water features project is well behind schedule, moving at the speed of molasses, caught up in bureaucratic red tape. While KPDC has raised more than enough money to fund the installation of the water line, a drinking fountain and a dog rinse station, the City administration stalled for a year and a half on the club’s  application for a lease.

And, in the end, the City’s terms and conditions were so onerous the Board was unable to sign the lease agreement. Among other things, the club would be required to pay the City to donate equipment to the park and would be required to take over maintenance, including mowing, snow removal, security and policing.

KPDC’s Board continues to work with the City administration to bring water into the off-leash area, and come to agreement on a suitable location for the drinking fountain, dog rinse station and splash pad.

The Board is optimistic that the “get ‘er done” attitude and exceptional cooperation of our dog-loving Niverville neighbours will serve as inspiration and an example of what can happen when municipal administrators are willing to work with community volunteers and elected officials to create safe and attractive off-leash spaces.

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