Toronto has reported more coyote sightings and fatal dog attacks this year than years prior.
A coyote attack in Scarborough last week left a dog with serious injuries. A Yorkshire Terrier named Macy was out for a walk with 10-year-old Lily Kwan when a coyote appeared and chased the small pup.
The dog was deemed a hero after attempting to fight off the animal while protecting Kwan.
Coyote sightings in the region are quite common. The city confirmed in an email to Daily Hive, that there have been a total of 1,389 reports of coyote sightings as of July 25, 2021. In previous years, 2019 saw 1,261, and in 2020, 1,777 sightings were reported.
“Sometimes, the same coyote could be reported by a number of people in the same location, so there may be duplication,” said the city. “Also, residents may mistakenly identify other animals as coyotes.”
Toronto’s data also indicates that as of July 21, there have been 10 dogs attacked by coyotes. Five have suffered injuries, and five have been killed.
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The city also tells Daily Hive that as of July 21, 2021, they received three reports where dogs were chased by coyotes but were not bitten.
But what is causing the increase in sightings? The city says it could be due to the fact that more people are staying home due to COVID-19.
The time of the year could also have an effect. They are more active and seen during mating season as well as during winter for “residents who live near typical coyote habitat including ravines, forests and large parks.”
Residents are reminded by the city to never feed coyotes if spotted, keep away from them and their young, keep your dog on a leash and if you see a coyote, do not run but make some noise to scare it away.