- generally do not pose a danger to people, but can pose a danger for pets
- are active during the day and at night, particularly dusk and dawn
- help to control rodent and rabbit populations
- thrive in urban areas because of the abundance of food and shelter available
- do not hibernate and may be seen more often during winter months as they are not hidden by foliage
- will eat whatever food is available such as small mammals and birds, and improperly stored garbage
- never feed coyotes
- always exercise caution around them
How to Deter Coyotes
What should I do if I see a coyote near my home or on my property?
- Encourage the coyote to keep moving by shouting and gesturing aggressively.
- There is probably a food source either in your yard or your neighbour’s yard.
To stop a coyote from coming into your yard:
- Avoid feeding your pets outdoors.
- Store garbage, recycling and organics properly.
- Remove dense brush and weeds to minimize hiding spots.
If you see someone feeding a coyote, call 311 as it is against City bylaws.
Coyotes are naturally timid and flee when confronted aggressively. Never run away from a coyote. The following actions teach coyotes to fear humans.
- Be Big: Stand up and raise your arms in the air. Appear as large and threatening as possible
- Be Loud: Stomp your feet, clap your hands, and yell “go away coyote” to alert people nearby.
- Be Threatening: Throw a tennis ball or a small pebble or stick at the coyote, but only to show the coyote who is boss – not to injure!
- Avoid turning your back, maintain eye contact and slowly back away.
If you see a coyote doing the following, call 311:
- Approaching dogs or people
- Exploring a home or building far from a large park or open area
- Limping or staggering or with paralyzed hind legs
- Acting confused around non-living objects
- Biting pets
- If you find an injured or sick coyote
Keeping Your Pets Safe
- Keep dogs on a leash.
- Keep cats indoors or supervised when outside.
- If coyotes are in your area, do not let your pet out into your backyard alone.
When walking your dog in a park:
- Allow your dog off leash only in enclosed areas.
- Walk your dog in areas of high pedestrian traffic such as busy streets, jogging and park trails.
- Walk during daylight hours.
- Avoid walking along abandoned properties or densely forested areas.
- Keep your dog in sight.
If you encounter a coyote while walking your dog:
- Pick the dog up in your arms.
- If not possible, keep your dog on a short leash and move to an area with more activity.
The following may help to deter coyotes:
Flashlights: Bright light has been known to deter coyotes.
Umbrellas: The action and sound of opening/closing will deter a coyote.
Whistles: May not scare coyote directly but will alert other pedestrians in the area.
Be big and loud: Jump up and down, wave your arms, yell “Go away coyote!”
The City's Coyote Response Strategy
The City provides the following:
- public education
- a bylaw that prohibits feeding of wildlife
- criteria for the removal of coyotes, if necessary:
- A bite to another animal is not grounds for removal – it is normal coyote behaviour.
- If a coyote is injured or sick, Toronto Animal Services will investigate to determine whether the coyote can recover on its own or should be taken to a wildlife rehabilitation facility.
- In accordance with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, once it recovers, the coyote will be returned to the area from where it was captured.
Report a Coyote Sighting
Fill out an online form.