The proximity to nature and wildlife has always been considered a bonus for Ward 9 residents. Having the rare opportunity to watch the deer feed, wild turkeys forage, foxes play and/or coyotes has been a delight for many families. With the pleasure of watching wild life comes the all too real risks of wild-life interactions, especially coyote encounters.
Coyotes are usually shy, timid, nervous and non-confrontational with humans. But, they have excellent eyesight and are curious. It is not unusual for a coyote to watch humans from a distance or to walk down urban streets looking for easy prey; birds, squirrels and even cats or dogs… if the opportunity presents itself.
During this time of year, coyotes can be more aggressive as they are mating. They will protect their den and pups if unaware hikers with their dogs (or small children) stray too close to their territory.
On April 8, 2022, I received a text message and subsequently spoke with a family about just such a coyote encounter in broad daylight. It appears that the unseen coyote was watching from the bushes in the Eramosa Karst Conservation Area (bordering the Karst Feeder Lands), when it attacked two dogs walking with their owner. In this case, the hiker was successful in fending off the coyote. This unusually coyote backed off, but it still followed them from a distance. Luckily, the coyote did not bite the owner or her dogs.
I am grateful that the hiker and her dogs were unharmed. I also appreciate being alerted to this encounter. As a result, I have requested warning signage in the Karst and along the trail that is in close proximity to Felker’s Creek. Feel free to share this post with your family and friends. Be careful when hiking in our natural heritage areas.
Please note that trapping or hunting coyotes is prohibited under Ontario Law with an exception for
If you see a coyote acting strange or aggressively to people or pets, please don’t hesitate to call animal control at 905 574-3433.
Preventing Coyote Encounters:
· Do not approach coyotes
· Do not feed coyotes
· Remove pet food left outside
· Properly cover and store garbage containers
· Avoid composting meat products
· Remember bird feeders attract potential prey for coyotes
· Never leave children unattended
· Keep cats indoors
· Keep dogs on short leashes
· Enclose yard with solid wooden fence, minimum 6 feet high
· Use motion sensitive lights for your property to help deter coyotes
· Educate your children not to approach all wildlife