Be on the lookout for coyotes following two close encounters in Caledon


Published August 18, 2023 at 3:22 pm

Photo: Town of Caledon

A pair of run-ins with coyotes in Caledon has led prompted a reminder of what to do if you encounter the wily creatures.

With many wooded areas, rolling hills and rural landscapes, coyote sightings are fairly common in Caledon as they are often attracted to food sources left out by humans, either on purpose or unintentionally.

The town said earlier this week that there have been two recent encounters with coyotes in the area of Pillsworth Rd. And while no injuries were reported in either incident, the close calls have the town reminding residents of what to do if they come face-to-face with a coyote.

Understanding coyote behaviour can also help during an interaction with the animals.

Coyotes are very active at dusk, dawn and during the nighttime hours. While naturally curious animals they are usually shy, cautious and non-confrontational.

Unlike wolves, coyotes don’t form large packs but will form family groups called bands and will often hunt in pairs. Coyotes will be drawn to livestock in rural areas, and often forage through gardens, garbage and sometime prey on domestic pets. But they also help control the population of other critters including mice, rabbits, groundhogs and woodchucks.

“Coyotes are very adaptable and can do well in any forested area that includes forest areas,” the town says. “They are known to live in natural valley lands, ravines and urban parklands.”

Here are some tips on what to do if you encounter a coyote:

  • Stay calm and wait until it goes away
  • Don’t turn your back and run, coyotes may chase you
  • If approached, stand tall and wave your arms to make yourself look as large as you can
  • Clap, yell, whistle or shout loudly and make lots of noise to startle the coyote
  • Startle the animal with sudden movements
  • Throw an object toward the coyote

There are also steps you can take to avoid attracting coyotes to your property:

  • Properly store and maintain garbage containers
  • Keep pet food inside
  • Avoid composting meat products
  • Don’t feed or approach coyotes
  • Install motion-sensitive lighting to scare away coyotes
  • Bird feeders can attract birds and squirrels, which may attract coyotes
  • Coyotes are attracted to animal feces, so clean up after pets
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