School keeps kids indoors after coyote sightings in Brampton


Published March 6, 2023 at 4:37 pm

Kids at a Brampton school are being kept indoors as an added precaution this week due to a wily coyote spotted nearby.

Brampton Animal Services says it received reports last Wednesday (March 1) of a coyote in a residential area near Brampton’s Our Lady of Peace Separate School and Major William Sharpe Park.

A spokesperson for the Durham-Peel Catholic District School Board told that there have been multiple coyote sightings over the last week and students are being kept indoors for the remainder of the week until the start of March Break as a precaution.

Parents have been notified and the school board said it is working closely with Brampton Animal Services

“School staff has been directed to be extra vigilant and both students and staff have been instructed to report any sightings immediately,” the school board said in a statement.

Brampton Animal Services said it’s the denning season for coyotes and staff are using aversion conditioning to deter the animals from residential areas. Because coyotes don’t hibernate, Brampton Animal Services says the animals may be seen all year round in Brampton.

RELATED: Coyote found in Brampton backyard gets second chance at life in the wild

And while they are generally “shy and non-confrontational,” the curious animals have been known to have dangerous interactions with people and pets.

“Remember – never approach or feed a coyote, teach children not to approach or harass any wildlife or unfamiliar domestic pets, keep cats indoors and dogs on short leashes or supervised in your enclosed yard, and ensure your outdoor pets are up-to-date on all recommended vaccinations,” said Amanda Barrett, Supervisor, Brampton Animal Services.

Brampton Animal Services also says feeding coyotes – whether intentionally or not – can cause coyotes to associate humans with food, and recommends removing any potential food sources from your property like fruits or vegetables, food residue in barbeques, pet food, or birdseed.

Here are some tips from Brampton Animal Services on how to safely share the community with urban coyotes:

Stay calm

It might feel difficult, but if you’re in the community and are approached by a coyote, remain calm. Do not give in to an instinct to turn and run, as this might provoke them to chase you. Try backing away slowly.

Make yourself loud and large

If a coyote continues to approach you, it’s best to make yourself loud and large. You can stand tall and wave your arms, clap, shout, make startling movements or open an umbrella, turn on a flashlight, or activate an alarm or loud noise on your phone. The goal is to startle the coyote into running away – do not chase or touch the animal! If you try to scare the animal but fear you are still at risk of immediate attack, call 9-1-1.

Take care of your home

Keep coyotes out of your home area by ensuring you have a solid, tall fence around your backyard. Remove any food sources such as unused fruits or vegetables, food residue in your barbeques, pet food, or birdseed on the ground. Maintain your garbage containers and avoid composting meat products. Do not let your garbage overflow and store containers in a safe area, as they might attract small rodents, and in turn larger wildlife. Use tools to make your yard less attractive for wildlife such as motion-sensitive lights so your yard is less attractive for wildlife at night.

Call Brampton Animal Services

When in doubt, call Brampton Animal Services at 905.458.5800. For more information visit the Brampton Animal Services webpage.

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