Here’s what you need to know about coyote denning season in Mississauga
While coyotes have always been with us, sightings—and complaints—have seemingly become more common in recent years, with some residents reporting feeling threatened by the animals that they encounter on walks through Mississauga.
Mississauga Animal Services, which says that coyotes are important for the local ecosystem and help control rodent and rabbit populations, recently announced that since denning season is upon us, Mississauga residents might see more coyotes out and about.
According to the city, coyotes start denning to raise their pups in March and April and they create dens in a variety of places, including the side of hills, tree stumps, underneath patios/decks, in culverts and especially around natural areas or hydro corridors.
The city says that in order to protect their young, coyotes will vocalize, growl or act in a defensive manner if they suspect predators or people are lurking around their den site. That said, coyotes are normally shy and will try to avoid human contact.
If you suspect there is a coyote den nearby, Mississauga Animal Services recommends that you:
- Avoid the area.
- Keep dogs on a leash that's no longer than 6 feet
- Do not litter or dump food, as that could attract wildlife
- If you suspect a coyote den to be in an area that may pose a risk to the public, contact Animal Services at 905-896-5858.
If you encounter a coyote:
- Do not feed the coyote - it is prohibited and is often linked to bold behaviour.
- Stay calm and wait until it goes away.
- Do not turn your back and run as there is a chance the coyote may chase you.
- Look as big as you can - stand tall, wave your arms, clap, yell and make startling movements.
- Startle the animal by opening an umbrella, using a flashlight or sounding an audible alarm.
- If you believe you are in immediate danger, call 911.
Protecting your pets from coyotes:
- Go outside and supervise your pet when they're in the yard.
- Keep dogs on a short leash (no longer than 6 ft.) when walking.
- If you see a coyote, pick up your dog if it is small.
- Keep cats indoors.
The city has an online interactive coyote map that people can use to track or report coyote sightings.
Cover photo courtesy of Mississauga Animal Services
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