The city is warning Toronto residents to beware of coyotes on the prowl

The city is warning Toronto residents to beware of coyotes on the prowl

(Image: Amy Guth) (Image: Amy Guth)
 

Apparently January to March is mating season for coyotes, which means Toronto’s coyotes are currently more wily than usual. City-dwellers can expect more sightings of their wolf-like friends for the next several weeks. Who should be most concerned? Residents of High Park, the Beach, the Don Valley and pretty much anyone who lives near a ravine.

The risks to humans are minor—unlike the bold foxes of London, our coyotes tend to be wary creatures (it’s been over ten years since one has even nipped a person)—but pet-owners should be careful. A year ago, a white Maltese was attacked by a coyote and died, while on Ward’s Island, the pests are blamed for disappearing local cats. According to our recent profile on the critters, male coyotes are particularly attracted to unspayed female dogs.

The city has come up with some tips for dealing with the animals. For example, if you were inclined to leave out a dead rabbit for your local coyote—don’t. Feeding them is a bad idea. In encounters, the city recommends chucking objects at the animal to scare it away. Given the shy nature of the species, we predict it would dart away before such aggressive action is necessary. Our guide has some more practical advice: properly dispose of garbage and walk your pets in populated areas.