Protect yourself and your pets from coyote attacks in Burlington

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By Jeffrey Allen

Published on March 4, 2022 at 4:25 p.m.

The City of Burlington wants residents to know how to prevent their pets from becoming targets of coyote attack.

It’s coyote whelping season, the time of year when the cubs are born. Shortly before a coyote gives birth, between April and May, the coyote will begin to dig a den which it will use to raise its young.

“With spring approaching, now is a good time to remind residents of what we can all do to help prevent potential conflicts with coyotes,” said Kerry Davren, acting chief enforcement officer, animal licenses and services.

“Research and past experiences have shown that the most important thing we can do to reduce direct interaction with coyotes is to eliminate coyote attractants such as food and that includes direct feeding, such as leaving food out for coyotes, and indirect feeding, such as leaving garbage out.” at the edge of the sidewalk at night or rotten fruit on the ground of fruit trees.

Although they are naturally wary of humans, coyotes will seek food and shelter in residential neighborhoods when the opportunity arises.

There are several ways residents can deter coyotes:

  • Never feed coyotes: Feeding coyotes, directly or indirectly, teaches them to depend on human gifts and can cause them to become overly familiar with humans. This familiarization can lead to aggressive behavior towards people and dogs.
  • Never leave animals unattended: Coyotes may view pets as a threat to their territory and may attack, especially when there is a den nearby. Always keep dogs on short leashes (less than six feet long) when walking outdoors and avoid retractable leashes. Make sure your cats and dogs are not unattended, especially at night, even in your fenced yard.
  • Keep a tidy property: Residential neighborhoods are ideal habitat for coyotes with access to water, shelter, and food sources like garbage, pet food, fruit trees, and bird feeders. Make sure your property is tidy and free of trash, food, brush, long grass and piles of wood, which are ideal lair sites for coyotes or other wildlife that attract coyotes .
  • Inspect your property: Make sure spaces around and under decks, sheds and similar structures are enclosed with wire netting that extends at least 20 centimeters below ground.
  • Constantly foggy coyotes: Deterring coyotes requires vigilance. Consistent efforts by the entire community to confuse coyotes can help reinstill their fear of humans and discourage unwanted behavior.

If you encounter a coyote in a residential area and want to scare it away, do things like shout loudly, wave your arms and make yourself look as big as possible, use horns, whistles, pots, throw small rocks, throw large sticks, cans, and/or rubber balls at the coyote, or spray it with water from a garden hose or a vinegar-filled water gun.

If a coyote approaches, residents are reminded to stop and not run, pick up young children and pets, stand as upright as possible, make noise, be as loud as possible, shouting “go away”, waving your arms and stamping your feet, backing up slowly.

After the interaction, report coyote sightings online.

Call Burlington Animal Services at 905-335-3030 if you see an aggressive, sick, or injured coyote and call 9-1-1 if a coyote poses an immediate threat or danger to public safety.

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