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City of Burlington Has Eliminated a Third Coyote Identified in Recent Resident Attacks

coyote pic

“We believe we have eliminated the immediate threat to public safety from this family of coyotes responsible for the recent attacks. We know that will be a measure of relief to the community. City of Burlington staff will continue to patrol the area for the foreseeable future and we ask the community to continue to report any coyote sightings. We also continue to stress that the reason this group of coyotes became aggressive is because they had lost their fear of humans due to being fed – intentionally or unintentionally. Please ensure proper disposal of food waste. Intentional feeding, in particular, of any wildlife must stop for us to be able ensure the safety of our community.” — Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

*Please see below a news release issued by the City of Burlington*

Burlington, Ont.—Sept. 20, 2022— This morning, the City of Burlington, with the expertise of a Certified Wildlife Control Professional, have eliminated the third aggressive coyote responsible for the recent unprovoked attacks on people in south central Burlington. The coyotes were identified based on feedback and descriptions received from the residents that were attacked. The City appreciates the ongoing support of the Halton Regional Police Services (HRPS) who were present to ensure public safety and were ready to assist, if needed.

In the past several weeks, there have been seven unprovoked attacks on humans reported to the City. Animal Services staff have played a key role in tracking the coyotes identified as being responsible for all of the attacks.

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 staff continue to be on high alert, this includes patrolling the city, gathering information, and looking for food sources. The City has recently started covering park and public garbage bins with lids and remind residents that these bins are for park garbage only.

If residents are aware of any feeding of wildlife they should report it to Animal Services animalshelter@burlington.ca or 905-335-3030.

City of Burlington Animal Services staff have been leading ongoing joint operations with the HRPS and a Certified Wildlife Control Professional in the attack areas to track down and eliminate the aggressive coyotes. Residents may see this multi agency taskforce in their neighbourhood and it is critical that residents do not interfere with these operations. Because the situation can change suddenly, it may not always be possible for residents to be notified of the operations happening in their neighbourhood. Crowds must not gather during these operations 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 active. The priority of this multi agency taskforce is to eliminate the aggressive coyotes based on our approved City of Burlington Coyote Response Strategy protocol.

City staff continue to work and meet 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 residents feeding wildlife in south central Burlington. MNRF staff experts stated 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 behaviour, as is happening now in south central Burlington. From what City staff reported to MNRF scientific and veterinary experts, the experts are convinced these localized attacks are coming from coyotes who have been conditioned to see humans as a food provider. This learned behaviour creates an environment where coyotes and wildlife are 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 animalshelter@burlington.ca 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.

Quick Facts:

  • 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 neighbourhoods.
  • Concerns about direct or indirect feeding of wildlife can be reported to Animal Control at 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 mailbox@burlington.ca

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A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made. As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington. The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful. Got an idea or comment you want to share privately? Please, get in touch:

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