Residents are advised to stay vigilant when enjoying Sarnia’s outdoor trails, parks and beaches as coyote sightings have become more and more common within the City. When coyote sightings increase, many times these sightings are due to humans intentionally or unintentionally providing a food source. Coyotes tend to be more active during certain times of the year such as the spring when they are raising young, or during the winter when they are looking for mates and protecting their territories.
While coyotes, by nature, are wary of humans, they are opportunistic feeders and have been known to prey on small dogs or cats that have been left unattended. As such, residents are reminded to please keep pets under strict control. As coyotes are most active between the hours of dusk and dawn it’s important to ensure pets are not permitted to run at large. Accompany your pets outdoors and ensure they remain on a leash, this will help minimize such encounters.
If you encounter a coyote, do not approach. Coyotes will do their best to avoid human contact, but may attack humans when provoked, sick or injured. Yelling in a firm voice while outdoors “Go away coyote!” banging pots, spraying a water hose, throwing objects towards (not at the coyote) can be effective deterrents to safely move a coyote away. Flashlights and motion activated lights may also help deter coyotes from entering onto your private property.
Tips to Discourage Coyotes on your Property
Coyotes as well as other types of wildlife require food, water, and shelter. Follow these tips to keep wildlife away from your property by:
- Storing garbage in plastic containers with locking lids.
- Storing garbage indoors until garbage day.
- Keeping pet food inside your house.
- Ensuring compost is stored in approved containers
- Keeping pets indoors when possible or accompanied by a leash
For information about coyotes or other wildlife please visit https://www.sarnia.ca/by-law-enforcement-wild-animals/ or call the local Ministry of Natural Resources district office at 519-773-9241. If a coyote poses an immediate threat or danger to public safety, call 911.