The Hamilton Spectator

‘Timid’ coyotes out more during mating season


It’s coyote mating season.

Late January through mid-February is mating season for coyotes in Ontario, and that means the canids tend to be far more visible. The city is reminding residents of the steps they can take to keep both themselves and their pets safe during this time.

Nick Anastasopo­ulos, the City of Burlington's director of building and bylaw, said the animals tend to be out more this time of year looking for food and a mate.

“There are things we can all do to help make sure coyotes remain wild animals and wary of humans,” said Anastasopo­ulos.

“Coyotes are very timid animals that prefer to avoid humans but they may put on warning displays if they perceive a threat to their territory. For this reason, I would caution dog owners to keep their pets on leash at all times.”

Residents can prevent coyotes from visiting their properties by following some simple precaution­s:

Clean up around or remove bird feeders that attract rodents, one of the coyote’s main food sources.

Store garbage, compost and pet food securely in a place coyotes cannot access.

Install flashing lights, motion sensors and/or noise makers outside your property.

Make sure spaces around and under decks and sheds are closed off.

Residents can request an audit of their yard for coyote attractant­s by city animal control staff. To do so, email animalshel­

The city is asking residents to report coyote sightings using the form at coyotes.

What to do if you see a coyote

If you see a coyote, the city advises that you keep your distance and the animal will most likely avoid you. But if a coyote approaches:

Stop. Pick up small children and pets. Stand still.

Make yourself appear larger by waving your hands in the air.

Make noise by shouting “go away,” clapping your hands, or blowing a whistle.

Use hazing techniques, such as opening an umbrella, shaking your keys or throwing an object near the coyote.

Slowly back away. Never run from, or turn your back on, a coyote.

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