Burlington investigates coyote after it attacked two people


Published August 22, 2022 at 7:50 pm

The City of Burlington is hunting down a coyote which attacked two people during separate instances, in incredibly rare attacks.

Burlington’s city council and staff have connected with the families of those attacked and have managed to track down the coyote. City staff have connected with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Halton Police and a private trapper for a “coordinated, urgent response” to kill the creature.

Coyotes attacking humans is a very rare occurrence. According the the Humane Society, “More people are killed by errant golf balls and flying champagne corks each year than are bitten by coyotes.”

While such instances do happen, such as attacks in Oshawa and Niagara, they remain highly unusual and most often preventable. Coyotes tend only to attack people when sick, cornered or when people have been feeding the coyote.

Exceedingly rarely coyotes will attack due to rabies, but this is even more unlikely. Despite some attacks, only one Canadian has ever been killed by coyotes. Taylor Mitchell, a 19-year-old Toronto musician was mauled in 2009 on a remote Nova Scotia trail.

Whenever an attack occurs the responsibility to address it falls on the municipality. In this case it’s up to the City of Burlington to deal with the coyote.

The City, and most other municipalities, have council approved priorities in place to deal with the coyote.

Unlike attacks, coyote sightings are quite common in Burlington. “Coyote sightings are common in the City of Burlington, as our green spaces and forested areas provide an excellent habitat for them. While coyotes will generally avoid humans, they can pose a serious threat to pets, such as cats and small dogs,” said the city.

“Coyotes naturally fear humans and should remain wild animals with little human interference. They play an important role in balancing the ecosystem in southern Ontario by controlling the populations of rabbits, rats and mice,” they continued.

They also offered some advice to residents to ensure they avoid coyotes;

  1. Never feed coyotes
  2. Never leave pets unattended
  3. Keep a tidy property
  4. Inspect your property
  5. Consistently haze coyotes

The hazing is particularly important to instill fear of people in the coyote. “Consistent efforts by the entire community to haze coyotes can help to re-instill their fear of humans and discourage unwelcome behaviour,” the city said.

Hazing techniques

  • Yell loudly
  • Wave your arms and make yourself look as big as possible
  • Use air horns, whistles, bang pots
  • Throw small rocks, large sticks, cans and/or rubber balls at the coyote
  • Spray the coyote with water from a garden hose or a water gun filled with vinegar.

If a resident spots a coyote they should;

  • Stop. Don’t run.
  • Pick up small children and pets
  • Stand as tall as you can
  • Make noise, be as loud as you can, shout “go away”
  • Wave your arms and stomp your feet
  • Use hazing techniques
  • Back away slowly
  • Report coyote sightings online at www.burlington.ca/coyote
  • Call Burlington’s Animal Services at 905-335-3030 if you see an aggressive, sick or injured coyote
  • Call 9-1-1- if a coyote poses an immediate threat or danger to public safety.


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