Coyotes are found in urban areas throughout North America, including Cambridge. Seeing a coyote in Cambridge is not necessarily cause for alarm. Coyotes are not considered a significant risk to people. They are usually wary of humans and avoid people whenever possible, however they are wild animals and we should avoid contact. Most negative coyote interactions are preventable. When we are aware and knowledgeable of our wildlife and act responsibly and respectfully, it is easier to coexist.

Spring to early summer is pupping season

While hazing usually works to frighten off a coyote, it doesn't always work during the spring when there is a den and pups to defend. The Urban Coyote Initiative states: "If a coyote seems intent on defending a certain area, particularly around pupping season, your best bet may be to alter your route to avoid conflict with a normally calm animal."

Reducing coyote conflicts

Discourage coyotes from entering your property:

  • Never feed or leave food out for a coyote.
  • Remove all water and food sources from your yard, including birdseed and ripe/rotted fruit that has fallen to the ground.
  • Store garbage, compost and pet food in a place coyotes cannot access.
  • Supervise animals when they are in the yard. Cats should not be permitted to roam freely.
  • Clean up after your dog. Coyotes are attracted to dog feces.
  • Remove long grass, dead brush and wood piles. These conditions provide potential den sites for coyotes or other wild animals that attract coyotes.
  • Ensure gaps around and under decks and sheds are closed off with wire screening.
  • Use motion sensors.

If you encounter a coyote on your property or when out for a walk:

  • Practise hazing to let the coyote know they are not welcome. Appear aggressive: stand tall, wave your arms, shout, clap your hands and make lots of noise.
  • Keep pets attended and on leash.
  • Do not turn your back on, or run from, a coyote.
  • If you see pups or suspect there are pups in the area or if the coyote is not easily frightened away, keep your dog on a short leash, pick up small pets and children, and back away from the area. Consider changing your route for a few weeks. The coyote may have been denning in the area and will likely move on after some time.
  • Do not leave food waste in garbage cans in parks as this may attract rodents which may in turn attract coyotes.

What about relocating or elminating coyotes?

Capture and relocation of coyotes more than one kilometre away is not permitted under Ontario's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. Research shows wildlife relocated from urban areas usually return or become a problem elsewhere. In addition, when coyotes are hunted or lethally destroyed, remaining ones compensate by producing larger litters and expanding their range. Only in rare cases where an individual coyote is demonstrating unusual/aggressive behaviour or severe trauma or illness do animal control agencies capture coyotes.