City of Burlington activates Crisis Management Team due to six unprovoked coyote attacks

Burlington, Ont.—Sept. 10, 2022— The City of Burlington has activated its Crisis Management Team due to six unprovoked coyote attacks on residents. The latest was reported to the City from a retirement home employee regarding one of their residents.

Today, Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward spoke to the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), Graydon Smith, who expressed sincere concern for the health and safety of our residents and is working with us to help address this serious risk to our community from these unprecedented and unprovoked attacks. One victim was a two-and-a-half-year-old boy who was on his backyard deck. The coyote grabbed him by the neck in an attempt to drag him away. City staff are in active discussions with coyote wildlife management experts at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) to collaborate on solutions for the Burlington community.

City of Burlington staff will present a report to council on coyote management recommendations at the Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk and Accountability Committee Meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 9:30 am for approval at the City of Burlington Special Council Meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 14 at noon.

The most recent unprovoked coyote attack occurred this morning at 8:20 am at a retirement home on New Street in the Roseland area. The victim was sitting out on their front patio in a chair. She was relaxing and awoke to the pain of the coyote biting her in the hip area. The coyote was started when she woke up but tried to approach her again. She was able to scare it away. The retirement home employee saw what happened and ran out to check on the resident. The coyote ran across New Street into a neighborhood. An ambulance was called for the victim and she was taken to hospital.

The coyote is described as a smaller sandy colored coyote. The City is asking residents to continue to be vigilant in these areas and report coyote sightings using the form at burlington.ca/coyotes.

Anyone attacked by a coyote is advised to seek immediate medical attention and report the attack to the Halton Region Health Department and to the City of Burlington Animal Services at animalservices@burlington.ca or 905-335-3030.

These attacks are uncharacteristic of coyotes and this cluster of attacks on humans are the first reported in Burlington.

City of Burlington Animal Services staff are patrolling the area to locate this coyote and its den. They are also working with a Certified Wildlife Control Professional to eliminate the coyote.

While staff have been monitoring the area since the last attack on Aug. 24, they have found several neglected properties in the area that could be offering ideal denning areas for this pack of aggressive coyotes. Bylaw Officers are being dispatched and prioritizing by bringing these properties to meet bylaw requirements and to remove the opportunity for coyotes to den on these sites.

Municipalities are responsible for taking appropriate actions to manage resident coyote sightings, encounters and attacks and take appropriate action. If a coyote attacks a person, the City has a Council approved Coyote Response Strategy in place that is currently being followed to prioritize and deal with this situation.

Burlington is a city where people, nature and businesses thrive. Sign up to learn more about Burlington at burlington.ca/subscribe and follow @CityBurlington on social media.

Quick Facts

  • In 2015, Burlington City Council approved a Coyote Response Strategy that provides guidelines on preventing and managing conflicts with coyotes.
  • These are the first reported coyote attacks on humans in Burlington.
  • Coyotes are native to North America and can be found living in urban and rural areas.
  • Food sources like mice, rats, and garbage are readily available in urban areas, attracting coyotes to residential neighborhoods.
  • Concerns about direct or indirect feeding of wildlife can be reported to Animal Control at animalshelter.mailbox@burlington.ca
  • Hand feeding and ground feeding wildlife on private or public property is prohibited by the city’s Lot Maintenance Bylaw (49-2022) and is subject to a fine.
  • To request an audit of your yard for coyote attractants by city Animal Control staff, please email animalshelter.mailbox@burlington.ca.

Quotes

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

“I join all of my colleagues on council in expressing our heartfelt distress to the resident attacked this morning. We want to assure residents we’re taking immediate actions to protect our community, including convening a crisis team and a special council meeting this week to implement our action plan. I want to thank Minister Graydon Smith and his team for stepping as soon as I reached out to him, connecting our staff to their wildlife and coyote expertise so that we can protect our residents. We will continue to provide regular updates to the community as we deal with this urgent situation.”

City Manager Tim Commisso

“The City continues to deal with an unprecedented and extremely serious public safety matter with the sixth coyote attack occurring this morning on an elderly resident. As City Manager, I can assure all residents, that protecting the community from these attacks is our absolute highest priority. We will be directing all available City resources including Bylaw enforcement, Animal Services and external wildlife professionals, to respond to this crisis including investigating and rectifying coyote feeding inquiries and dealing with overgrown derelict building sites that are contributing to this situation.

I am also very grateful for the immediate response and expertise we have received from Provincial officials in dealing with this unprecedented challenge facing our City.”

Links and Resources

Map of coyote attacks

Attached: map pinpointing the unprovoked coyote attacks in the City of Burlington

Attached: map pinpointing the unprovoked coyote attacks in the City of Burlington

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Media contact:
Carla Marshall
Communications Advisor
carla.marshall@burlington.ca

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