Increased coyote sightings: How keep self and pets safe

Clarington said it has received several reports about coyote sightings and encounters in urban areas.

Coyotes are beneficial at controlling the rodent population, and generally, they are not a threat to humans. Occasionally, coyotes can pose a danger, said an announcement.

Clarington is an urban and rural community, which means we share the space with wildlife. We must be aware of our surroundings, know how to react, and stay safe around wild animals, it pointed out.

Why do coyotes venture into populated areas?

Development may displace coyotes from their natural habitat and push them into neighbourhoods and areas occupied by people. As they adapt to living around populated areas, they can become accustomed to people and the urban environment. Coyotes are opportunistic feeders and will eat small animals, rodents, and birds, as well as improperly stored garbage or food set out for other animals.

What should you do if you encounter a coyote outside?

Do not run away or turn your back on the animal. Instead, wave your hands and make lots of noise while backing slowly away. Make yourself as big and imposing as possible. Your aggression will deter most coyotes.

How can you protect your pets?

When walking your dog, always keep them on a leash. Keep your cats indoors and do not allow them to roam freely in the neighbourhood.

How can you secure your home?

  • Don’t leave any food outdoors.
  • Never attempt to feed coyotes or any wild animals on your property, including rabbits.
  • Feed your pets inside.
  • Keep your pets inside from dusk to dawn.
  • Secure your garbage.
  • Do not put meat, eggs, or bones in your compost at home.

What should you do if a coyote is aggressive or poses a threat?

If you feel that you are in immediate, life-threatening danger, call 9-1-1.

If you encounter a potentially aggressive coyote but are not in immediate danger, call Clarington’s Animal Shelter. The municipality monitors reports we receive about aggressive coyotes to evaluate the risk to the public and the need for a response.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has developed a guide that outlines what you should do.

For more information, read Clarington’s Living with Coyotes page.

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