Now that the cold weather is here, coyote sightings have become more rampant.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) said in a press release that changes in land use, agricultural practices, weather, feeding by humans and natural food shortages, may contribute to the increase in coyote sightings.
Coyotes are usually wary of humans and will avoid people when possible. However, in case of an encounter with a coyote, the ministry advises not approaching the wild animal or turning your back and running. Refrain from using scare tactics such as whistles and personal alarm devices. Avoid feeding, touching or attempting to tame a coyote.
For people with pets, proper fencing that is at least six feet tall with the bottom extending at least six inches below the ground and/or a foot outward is the best way to protect your fur baby from coyote encounters. Pets should be kept indoors at night, especially dogs that have not been spayed or neutered. Coyotes are attracted to and can mate with, domestic dogs that have not been spayed or neutered.
Other tips to avoid contact with a coyote include properly storing and maintainng garbage containers, and putting garbage at curbside the morning of the scheduled pickup rather than the night before. Coyotes are also attracted to pet food and waste, ensuring pets are fed indoors, or the food is picked up and properly disposed of in composting bins will keep the wild animal at bay.
Residents can also utilize motion sensor lighting and/or motion activated sprinkler systems to make your property less attractive to coyotes and other nocturnal wildlife.