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January 12, 2012
Winter sightings of coyotes are normal in the city
  
Residents in the city of Toronto who live on or near ravines and forests (typical coyote habitat) should expect to have more coyote sightings during winter months.

Coyotes have become a natural part of the urban landscape in Toronto. They can thrive in urban areas because of the abundance of food and shelter available to them.

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.

Residents are advised to follow these practical steps that will help to minimize negative encounters with coyotes:
• Never feed a coyote or any wild animal. Feeding wild animals is detrimental to the community and to the animals themselves.
• Do not feed domestic pets outside.
• Ensure all household garbage is inaccessible to animals.
• Place garbage at the curb the morning of the scheduled pick-up.
• Consider using green bins instead of composters for food waste.
• Always supervise pets - keep dogs on a leash and cats indoors or supervised while outside.
• Remove dense brush and weeds around property to minimize hiding spots for coyotes.
• If you encounter a coyote, wave your arms aggressively, make loud noises, and throw objects in its direction (but not at it) to scare it away. These actions teach coyotes to be afraid of humans and this will minimize conflicts. If these actions do not scare a coyote, back away slowly from the animal. Do not turn your back or attempt to run away.

In this last scenario, if the coyote is not scared away, please call Toronto Animal Services, through 311. There is no need to call if you simply spot a coyote exhibiting its normal behaviour.

If every member of the community commits to following these steps, we will experience fewer negative encounters with coyotes in Toronto.

For more information, call 311 or visit http://www.toronto.ca/animal_services/coyote.htm

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.7 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.



Media Contact
Bruce Hawkins
Senior Communications Coordinator
416-392-3496
bhawkin@toronto.ca

 

 

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