Toronto reminds not to feed coyotes after food allegedly left in Etobicoke Park

Toronto officials are reminding residents not to feed coyotes after reports of food being left for wildlife in an Etobicoke park.

City officials said they have received numerous reports of people leaving food at Colonel Samuel Smith Park, located along Lake Ontario and home to abundant wildlife.

“Feeding coyotes and wild animals increases their presence and causes them to lose their fear of people, creating issues for both wildlife and our neighborhoods,” city staff said in a news release Friday.

In 2021, the city received more than 3,600 reports of coyote sightings in Toronto.

Sightings of coyotes due to food left outdoors are not uncommon in the city.

In November 2021, several Junction neighborhood residents reported numerous coyote sightings after someone allegedly left meat in schoolyards, despite coyote warning signs in the area.

Coyote

And last summer, a 10-year-old girl and her dog were chased by a coyote in a residential area of ​​Scarborough. The girl was not injured but the animal was seriously injured. It’s unclear if any food was left outside for wildlife in this neighborhood, but residents have reported seeing a coyote before the attack.

The city says most interactions with coyotes are the result of people intentionally leaving food outside.

Feeding the coyotes, however, is against city bylaws and could result in a $365 fine.

Coyotes generally pose no risk to humans, but are a danger to pets.

If you encounter a coyote, the city recommends that you don’t run away, but maintain eye contact and back away slowly, look large and threatening, make loud noises, and be assertive to scare the coyote away.

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