Here's why people in Toronto keep spotting coyotes right now
If you live in Toronto, chances are good you've seen people posting on social media about coyotes recently.
Coyote spottings have indeed increased in and around Toronto lately, with photos of the canines exploring both rural areas and more central parts of the city constantly being shared online.
And just reading an email from my kid's principle saying there was a coyote at the school https://t.co/Jy0iBU6mc9— Roma Luciw (@RomaLuciw) February 3, 2022
And that's because we are right in the midst of coyote mating season.
A little coyote love on this morning’s walk pic.twitter.com/SnyOXaeoj1— Jessica Holmes (@happyfeetholmes) February 9, 2022
"The months of January and February are mating season for coyotes, which means coyotes are more active during this time, making them more visible," according to the City of Toronto.
Yooooo we just saw a coyote at Yonge and Finch parking lot 😳😳😳 pic.twitter.com/3XKSdsrjSF— Kris Pangilinan (@KrisReports) February 8, 2022
Residents who live near ravines and forests are always more likely to spot these animals because of their proximity to their typical habitat, but their chances of spotting them during the winter are even higher.
While this is partially because of mating season, it is also easier to spot coyotes in parks and ravines in the winter because they are not hidden by foliage.
There are also usually fewer people around outside during the winter, and since coyotes are wary by nature, they tend to be more comfortable roaming in residential neighbourhoods throughout this time of year.
Today I encountered a coyote who also appreciates a #SundayStroll. It paid me no mind and continued on its way through the forest, but watch out if you are anywhere around Centennial Hill or the Chalet. It’s the second time I’ve seen it around. @TorontoPFR @cityoftoronto pic.twitter.com/ABanQ000wl— Colin Mang (@ColinMang) January 2, 2022
"Coyotes have become a natural part of the urban landscape in Toronto and are an important part of the ecosystem as they control rodent and rabbit populations," the city says. "They thrive in urban areas because of the abundance of food and shelter available to them."
Still, the city says residents should always exercise caution around coyotes and refrain from feeding them, ensure garbage is always inaccessible to them and supervise pets outside (sadly, there have been instances where coyotes have killed small domestic animals).
I stepped out of the woods above the beach and a moment later heard sirens as vehicles flew past on Lakeshore, followed by yips and howling… I had not been alone with squirrels and birds. There were at least 4 coyotes singing in response to the sirens. 😳🤩 pic.twitter.com/IDIraGgUXz— kids connect (@LaurelFynes) February 6, 2022
If you ever encounter a coyote, the city says you should wave your arms aggressively, make loud noises and throw objects in its direction (but not at it) to scare it away.
"These actions teach coyotes to be afraid of humans and this will minimize conflicts," the city says. "If these actions do not scare a coyote, back away slowly from the animal. Do not turn your back or attempt to run away."
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