The City of Burlington, with the expertise of a Certified Wildlife Control Professional, have eliminated a second coyote identified by its victims in recent unprovoked attacks on humans in south central Burlington. The City would like to thank the support of the Halton Regional Police Services (HRPS) who were present to ensure public safety and were ready to assist, if needed.
A third coyote of concern is still at-large.
In the past several weeks, there has been seven unprovoked attacks on humans reported in the City. Animal Services staff have played a key role in tracking the coyotes identified as being responsible for all of the attacks.
The coyote is described as having the same characteristics, a smaller sandy colored coyote, as the sixth and seventh coyote attacks on Sept. 10 and Sept. 17. The City is asking residents to continue to be vigilant in and around the areas noted on the updated map attached below and report coyote sightings using the form at burlington.ca/coyotes.
City of Burlington Animal Services staff have been conducting ongoing joint operations with the HRPS and the Certified Wildlife Control Professional in the areas of attack to track down and eliminate the coyotes. Residents may see this multi agency taskforce in their neighborhood and it is critical that residents do not interfere with these operations. Due to the fluidity of the situation, it may not always be possible for residents to be notified of the operations occurring in the surrounding community. It is important that crowds not gather during these operations. This is important for both the safety of residents and so crowds do not scare off the coyotes being tracked. The increasing challenge is that coyotes are no longer denning at this time of year and are more mobile. The priority of this multi agency taskforce is to eliminate the aggressive coyotes based on our approved City of Burlington Coyote Response Strategy protocol.
The City of Burlington met with senior officials of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) Provincial Services Division to gain expert advice on the current situation and confirm further immediate steps to deal with a family of aggressive coyotes in south central Burlington. MNRF staff experts shared that under no circumstances should coyotes be fed by humans. When people feed coyotes, intentionally or unintentionally, coyotes become familiar with humans, are no longer afraid of humans and show more and more aggressive behavior, as is happening now in south central Burlington. From what City staff shared with MNRF scientific and veterinary experts, the experts are convinced these localized attacks are coming from coyotes who have been conditioned to see humans as providing a food source. This learned behavior creates an environment where wildlife is conditioned to be comfortable with direct human interaction and may come to depend on humans for food. Once a coyote crosses the boundary of acceptable interaction with humans, the coyote must be eliminated for public safety reasons, due to a situation they did not initiate.
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 email@example.com or 905-335-3030.
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.
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- In 2015, Burlington City Council approved a Coyote Response Strategy that provides guidelines on preventing and managing conflicts with coyotes.
- On Sept. 14, 2022, Burlington City Council approved staff report CM-26-22 City of Burlington Coyote Response Strategy update and response to recent serious attacks on city residents. This report outlines coyote management recommendations and strategic actions that must be taken to allow the City to be proactive when it comes to managing coyotes and wildlife to protect its residents.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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 email@example.com.
Links and Resources
Map of Coyote Attacks
Marianne Meed Ward, Burlington Mayor
“We can breathe a small sigh of relief at this news, though our thoughts continue to be with all the victims as they recover from these unprovoked attacks. None of us want to have to eliminate a wild animal, but we’ve learned that once animals lose their fear of humans, they can’t re-learn it and they become a permanent danger to our community. We will not rest until public safety is restored in our community. It’s critical that residents don’t feed wildlife, intentionally or unintentionally, and properly dispose of food waste. We all need to do our part.”