Coyotes in Burlington: What to Do When You See One

The denning season is near for coyotes in Burlington and that may result in conflicts with residents and their pets.

One of the most significant things dog owners can do is to keep their dogs on leash at all times to ensure they are not inadvertently wandering near potential den sites,” said the city’s manager of bylaw enforcement and licensing and animal services Grant Ziliotto.

Coyote sightings have been common within the city, particularly in greener areas.

The arrival of spring is “a good opportunity to remind residents there are things we can all do to prevent situations that may cause conflicts with coyotes that live in our city,” he added.

Residents can also take a look around their property “and make sure it’s as unattractive as possible for coyotes looking for food and shelter,” said Ziliotto.

Coyotes begin to give birth between April and May. Within this time, they’ll begin to build protective shelters to raise their pups.

They’re native to North America and are found all across the continent in areas both rural and urban, and coyotes can also be found in ravines, near electrical centres, and along highways, according to the city’s website.

Recommended courses of action include taking care of garbage, food, brush, and other items that would be of interest to coyotes.

The city is also cautioning residents to avoid feeding coyotes.

Keep in mind, certain rodents such as mice and rats can attract predators to residential neighbourhoods.

Other courses of action include encouraging owners of dogs to pick up any excrement, and to keep their pets on a leash all the time.

In the meantime, citizens are advised to secure all enclosed spaces around their homes. These spaces include, but are not limited to decks, sheds, and other related formations.

While coyotes are naturally wary of humans, they’ll look for food and shelter in residential neighbourhoods when the opportunity arises.

Things residents can do to help deter coyotes include:

  • Never feeding coyotes.
  • Keeping dogs on a leash and picking up pet waste - coyotes are attracted to dog feces.
  • Maintain a tidy property clear of garbage, food, brush, long grass and wood piles - these conditions provide potential den sites for coyotes or other wild animals that attract coyotes.
  • Installing motion sensor lights around your property.

In situations where a coyote approaches, residents are reminded of the following:

  • Stop. Don’t run.
  • Pick up small children and pets.
  • Stand as tall as you can.
  • Make noise, be as loud as you can, shout “go away.”
  • Wave your arms and stomp your feet.
  • Use hazing techniques, such as popping open an umbrella, throwing an object near the coyote or shaking your keys.
  • Back away slowly.
  • If a coyote poses an immediate threat or danger to public safety, call 911 and alert Halton police.

(Source: City of Burlington)

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