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Living with Coyotes


Coyotes are a part of nature and can be spotted in both rural and urban areas. It is common to see them in wooded areas, ravines, or near new subdivisions. They primarily hunt from dusk until dawn. Coyotes do not hibernate and can be seen or heard year round.

Coyotes help control rodents, including mice, rats, rabbits and groundhogs. Attacks on people are very rare, more common are attacks from dogs. There is a 50 per cent higher chance of a dog or cat exposing people to rabies.

Reduce the risk

  • Teach children to never approach wildlife, just enjoy them from a safe distance.
  • Never attempt to feed coyotes. This makes them less fearful of people and will also get them used to relying on human food.
  • Remove any food sources from outside your home.
  • Do not put meat, bones or eggs in your compost.
  • Do not feed your pets outside.
  • Keep ripe fruit and birdseed from building up on the ground.
  • Keep garbage well contained. Put garbage out in the morning, don't leave it curbside all night. This will prevent rodents and skunks from venturing near your home, and in turn will help reduce the attraction of coyotes who feed on these animals.
  • Keep cats indoors and always walk dogs on a leash. Keep your pets inside from dusk to dawn.
  • Ensure you have a good fence to help keep pets safe. A six-foot fence is recommended with at least six inches below ground. 
  • Motion sensitive lights in yards and gardens can help scare away these shy but inquisitive animals.
  • Remove brush and shrubs from around your property. Keep crawl spaces under sheds and barns closed off. They can quickly become a cozy den.

Safety first

If you're walking in areas where coyotes can be found:

  • Walk in small groups.
  • Keep a whistle, alarm, flashlight or umbrella to frighten them away in case you come close.
  • If a coyote confronts you, do not turn your back and run. Stand your ground.
  • Make lots of noise. Call for help.
  • Slowly back away to safety.

Additional resources


If a coyote poses an immediate danger to public safety, call Durham Regional Police at 905-579-1520.

If you have questions or concerns, you can contact the Ministry of Natural Resources at 1-800-667-1940.

For more information, our Animal Shelter Staff are available for advice and direction.


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