A recent scare experienced by one of our own has prompted us to remind our clients about the very real risk posed by coyotes in the Halton region.
Michelle, our office manager, was recently walking with her two dogs Maggie and Mia in the Bronte Creek Provincial Park when she heard the menacing cries of coyotes. It wasn’t long before she realized her Doberman, Mia, was caught in the middle of an attack by a group of four coyotes.
Two of the group actively fought with Mia. Her strength as a larger dog worked in Mia’s favor and she was able to wrestle her way free and back to to Michelle. Michelle and her dogs immediately left the park, but were followed to the park entrance by the coyotes.
Mia is currently being treated for her injuries, including multiple punctures from the bites of the coyotes.
There are increasing reports of coyote encounters in the area, particularly involving pets. Coyotes reside within cities’ green spaces and travel along ravines, hydro corridors, and highways.
Coyotes are a particular threat in the spring, when they are seeking a den to raise a new litter of pups, and in the fall, when the pups are leaving the den. They are more active during dusk and dawn.
The city of Burlington has suggested ways pet owners can avoid encounters with coyotes, including:
· Keeping your pets on leash
· Cleaning up after your dog, as coyotes are attracted to dog feces
· Keeping cats indoors
· Keeping chickens, rabbits, and other small animals in covered enclosures, constructed with heavy mesh wire
· Neutering pets, as coyotes are attracted to, and can mate with, domestic dogs that have not been spayed or neutered
The city website also lists the following advice for those who do encounter coyotes:
· Stop. Pick up small children and pets, shout “GO AWAY” and wave your arms high in the air.
· Use hazing techniques, such as popping open an umbrella, throwing an object near the coyote or shaking your keys.
· Back away slowly while remaining calm. Never run or turn your back on a coyote.
· If you see an aggressive, sick or injured coyote, call 905-335-3030. For all other coyote sightings, report it online.
· If a coyote poses an immediate threat or danger to public safety, call 9-1-1 and alert Halton Regional Police.