toronto coyote

Toronto coyote sightings are increasing and here's where they have been spotted

The terrifying encounter that a Scarborough girl and her tiny dog had with a coyote was not an isolated incident.

In fact, coyote encounters appear to be on the rise in Toronto.

There have been 10 attacks on pet dogs in 2021 as of July 21 and five have been fatal, according to City of Toronto data. In 2020, there were also 10 attacks but only one was fatal.

toronto coyote

City of Toronto chart

Data also shows there have been 1,389 coyote sightings reported so far this year, compared to 1,261 in 2019, and 1,777 in all of 2020.

toronto coyote

City of Toronto chart

Naomi Ahmad with City of Toronto Media Relations notes the numbers do not reflect the actual coyote population as sightings are not confirmed, and residents may mistakenly identify other animals as coyotes. Also, the same coyote could be reported by a number of people in the same location, so there may be duplication.

The increase in the number of sightings could be because more people are staying home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ahmad adds. Residents may simply be noticing coyotes in their neighbourhoods more often during the pandemic.

Complaints about coyotes tend to be, unsurprisingly, away from core, according to City of Toronto data on 311 calls.

Many calls have come from around Scarborough and Etobicoke. But it is important to note these are just the sightings reported through 311. Many other sightings are not reported to 311.

The increase in encounters could be blamed on the pandemic.

Nature Conservancy of Canada spokesperson Andrew Holland told CBC the pandemic has resulted in wildlife moving into urban areas.

"In the last 16 months, we've noticed a lot more wildlife in our communities," Holland said. "It's certainly not uncommon for coyotes to come out into urban areas to look for food sources."

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