Wily coyote sneaks quick dip in Ottawa woman's pool

·2 min read
Nicole Van De Wolfshaar found this coyote in her pool Saturday morning. She posted photos to one of her Facebook groups to provide some levity, as many people are still without power after last weekend's storm. (Nicole Van De Wolfshaar - image credit)
Nicole Van De Wolfshaar found this coyote in her pool Saturday morning. She posted photos to one of her Facebook groups to provide some levity, as many people are still without power after last weekend's storm. (Nicole Van De Wolfshaar - image credit)

It was about 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning when Nicole Van De Wolfshaar heard a racket outside her Glabar Park home.

Having been without power since a major storm swept through Ottawa last Saturday, Van De Wolfshaar was boiling water on her barbecue to make a cup of coffee.

"You know when there's a predator around the neighbourhood, the crows always make a huge racket?" she said. "I went outside to see what was in the backyard."

She didn't see anything right away, but then walked over to her pool and came across it — a coyote not just taking a dip, but struggling to get out.

Nicole Van De Wolfshaar
Nicole Van De Wolfshaar

Van De Wolfshaar said she wanted to help the coyote, but pushing it out didn't seem like the safest plan. Instead, she tried to lure it toward the pool's steps so it could easily exit.

It didn't go as smoothly as she'd hoped.

"It would swim a little bit, and then it would try to get out the side of the pool. And then it would really struggle and then it swam a little bit more and then it finally got out," she said, adding the entire ordeal took about 15 minutes.

"But it looked tired."

Nicole Van De Wolfshaar
Nicole Van De Wolfshaar

Van De Wolfshaar said she was also worried about what to do if the wild animal drowned in the bottom of her pool.

"What does one do when they have a drowned coyote in their backyard?" she wondered.

In the end, it was a happy ending. The coyote ran toward the back of her yard and crossed into her neighbour's property, she said.

Van De Wolfshaar said she then posted the pictures on a neighbourhood Facebook group as a break from everyone complaining about having no electricity.

Nicole Van De Wolfshaar
Nicole Van De Wolfshaar

Living without power 'a nuisance'

Van De Wolfshaar got her power back later Saturday, and while the week-long outage was annoying, she said she couldn't really complain because of all the support from friends and family.

"We've had no hot water, we can't cook, we can't warm anything up except on the barbecue," she said, adding she was showering at friends' houses and others were bringing her meals and doing her laundry.

"It's a nuisance, but I'm not suffering," she said before the lights turned on.

The lack of clear communication from Hydro Ottawa was the most frustrating, she added.

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