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Coyote Update

Most coyote sightings occur during winter months as these relatively shy animals can roam within residential areas without being confronted by people. This is why most coyote reports occur from December through March. Once the milder spring weather settles in and we spend more time outside, most coyotes will then return to forested areas to avoid human contact. Sightings and Interactions should be reported to Animal Services for the appropriate response

Seasonal behaviours that influence an increase in coyote sightings: •Winter during mating periods (Jan-Feb), Spring during den selection/pup rearing (Mar-June) and Fall during dispersal of pack members will also affect the number of sightings a resident observes a coyote.

As with any wildlife the City of Hamilton Animal Services only gets involved if they are injured/in distress or causing an immediate danger to the public. Below I have included some tips for co-existing with coyotes: •Never feed coyotes. Our best approach for safe and harmonious coexistence is not to habituate them. We need to keep them wild and wary of people. This is the best way to protect our pets and ourselves. •Keep pet food and water bowls indoors. Pet food will attract coyotes to your yard. •Keep trash cans covered. •Pick ripened fruit, and clean all rotted fallen fruit off the ground. •Do not allow a large amount of wild bird seed to remain on your lawn. Bird seed not only attracts birds, but rabbits, squirrels, and rodents, which are prey for coyotes. •Keep pets under strict control. Coyotes are most active between the hours of dusk and dawn. Therefore, leash all dogs and accompany them for walks. Keep pets indoors at night or enclosed in kennels. •Cats may become prey for coyotes. Pet owners should protect pets and not let them roam. Our pets are at risk of many environmental dangers when they are not under our control. Coyotes may prey on small domestic animals as food and to eliminate a threat to their territory or pups. Domestic dogs can be considered competition for food items at locations where humans are feeding coyotes. •Keep cats indoors. Letting cats roam can actually draw coyotes into the area. •Do not approach coyotes. Avoid coyote dens, and do not interfere with pups, even if it appears the parents have abandoned them. Coyotes will do their best to avoid human contact, but may attack humans when provoked, sick or injured. •Teach children about wildlife and how to safely respond to a coyote (or dog) nearby.

If A Coyote Is Near •Pick up small children and pets •Never run from or turn your back on a coyote/fox/domestic dog •Wave your arm(s) above your head, stomp feet, clap hands. Surprise gestures work best. Be assertive! •Be BIG and LOUD! Yell “Go away!” . A strong voice and assertive gestures send a clear message. •Slowly back away. Maintain eye contact and remember never run. •Use of Motion sensor lights or fog horn.

**Use hazing techniques such as shaking car keys, popping an umbrella, throwing an object in the direction of the coyote such as clumps of dirt, sticks or blow a whistle.

Any unusual behaviour or injured coyotes should be reported to Animal Services immediately at 905-574-3433. Residents should also contact the City of Hamilton Animal Services if they know of anyone feeding coyotes.

If you require any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

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