Generally, coyotes are not a danger to people, but can pose a danger for pets. They are reclusive animals that are active during the day and at night, which help control the rodent and rabbit population.
Residents can expect to see coyotes more often in winter for the following reasons:
It is easier to spot coyotes in parks and ravines in the winter because they are not hidden by foliage.
Coyotes are wary by nature and are more comfortable roaming in residential neighbourhoods when fewer people are outside.
The months of January and February are mating season for coyotes, which means coyotes are more active during this time, making them more visible.
Coyotes may approach pets that are not supervised, especially cats and small dogs. It is always a good idea to keep an eye on your pet while they are outside. It is very unlikely that a coyote will be attracted to a child; however, close supervision of children is also important.
The City of Toronto offers the following tips:
Never feed coyotes and do not leave food, including pet food, outside.
Do not approach coyotes, their dens or their young.
Do not touch coyotes, even if they appear tame, sick or injured.
Keep your dog on a leash.
If you see a coyote, do not run but make some noise to scare it away.
Dispose of garbage and waste before leaving parks.
How can you deter a coyote?
You can utilize hazing methods to deter coyotes. These technique will help move an animal out of an area or discourage undesirable behaviour. Some of these techniques include:
Yell and wave your arms while approaching the coyote.
Use noisemakers (whisles, air horns, bells).
Use projectiles (cans, tennis balls, sticks, hoses etc).
If wildlife deterrents have not resolved your issues, property owners can trap wildlife using a humane trap or can hire a wildlife agent to remove the animal. Under the Province’s Ontario Wildlife Conservation Act, trapped animals must be released within 24 hours and 1km from where they have been caught.
Contact 311 if you see someone feeding coyotes as it is against City bylaws. Coyote sightings can be reported to Toronto Animal Services by calling 416-338-PAWS (7297) or emailing email@example.com
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