If you happen to cross paths with a coyote in Toronto this winter, don’t worry.
The city is reminding residents who live near ravines and forests – typical coyote habitat – that they can expect an increase in coyote sightings during this time of year.
Residents are also reminded that coyotes are active day and night, but prefer to hunt after dusk or before dawn.
— City of Toronto (@cityoftoronto) January 22, 2021
To keep you and your pet safe this winter, the city recommends the following:
- Do not feed coyotes, either deliberately or inadvertently. Ensure all food you may have with you (human snacks or dog treats) are packed away securely.
- Keep your dog close to you and on a leash, especially in areas where coyotes are known to live.
- Don’t walk your dog in ravine habitats, especially in the spring when coyotes have pups.
- Be aware of your surroundings and what your dog is doing.
Don’t let your dog chase or play with a coyote.
According to the City, coyotes generally do not pose a danger to people, but can pose a danger for pets. It is not uncommon for coyotes to injure or kill cats and small dogs.
The City is aware of two incidents this month where dogs have been taken from backyards near ravines and killed by coyotes.
It’s advised that residents living near green spaces, ravines, and other areas where there are coyotes, to take pets out into their backyard with them and supervise their pets at all times. Cats should be kept indoors or supervised while outside.
“When walking, keep dogs on leash and close by at all times, especially in areas of Toronto where there are known to be coyotes. Allow dogs off-leash only in designated dog-off-leash areas, stay close and ensure dogs respond well to voice commands,” the release added.
And when a coyote is injured or sick, Toronto Animal Services will investigate to determine whether it can recover on its own or be captured and brought to a wildlife rehabilitation facility.
In accordance with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, the coyote will be located back into the area from which it was captured when it has recovered.
Coyotes have become a natural part of the urban landscape in Toronto and are “an important part” of the ecosystem as they control rodent and rabbit populations. They thrive in urban areas because of the abundance of food and shelter available to them.