Oshawa is urging community members to use caution around natural areas in their neighbourhood after recent coyote sightings and confrontations in central Oshawa.
Additionally, coyote sightings are more frequent in the fall during the dispersal of pack members, said a city statement.
It said coyotes can become accustomed to urban environments and lose their fear of humans, often due to the abundance of food sources in our neighborhoods.
To minimize encounters, residents and property owners are encouraged to wildlife proof their property, adhere to leash by-laws, supervise pets when in the yard and to not feed coyotes. By reporting wildlife sightings, you can help the city monitor common locations.
What do I do if I encounter a coyote?
- Stop and pick up small children and pets.
- Stand still, never run from or turn your back on a coyote.
- Make yourself big, wave your arms above your head.
- Be loud and assertive.
- Slowly back away, keeping an eye on the animal.
How can I prevent coyotes from visiting my yard?
- Remove food attractants from your yard – secure your garbage, keep pet food indoors, clean up spilled bird seed and fallen fruits.
- Keep your property clean – trim back bushes and weeds, scoop your dog poop, keep your barbeque area clean.
- Secure your home and sheds – seal openings into and under buildings, decks and porches.
- Be a good pet owner – keep your dog on a leash and supervise them when they are outdoors.
- Bring your pets in at night.
If you see it, report it!
The city reminded residents that it only responds to urban wildlife (e.g. raccoons, squirrels, foxes, skunks and bats) living on private property if the animal appears sick or injured. Complaints and inquiries regarding urban wildlife on private property should be directed to a qualified wildlife or pest control service. Additional information and resources on urban wildlife are available on the City’s Wildlife webpage.