Kitchener sees increase in coyote sightings

The City of Kitchener says it has seen an increase in calls lately from residents who have spotted a coyote.

A city official says that humans share the environment with the animals so there is no need to panic.

“It should be considered to be a relatively normal kind of thing,” said Joshua Shea, natural area coordinator for Kitchener.

On average, there are only 2.4 people per year across Canada bitten or scratched by the animals.

While he says that residents should not be overly concerned, the city would still like to hear from them as officials would like to investigate the reasons for the sightings.

“Often, people will leave food out in the backyard and that will draw the animals,” Shea explained.

Coyotes are always around but he says they become more visible in the fall when there is less vegetation. That is part of the reason why there is an increase in calls, “usually in late fall or early winter.”

The animals are also more active at this time of year as they look for new territories in search of potential mates.

There is a factsheet about coyotes in the urban wildlife section of the city’s website.

It says that coyotes try to avoid contact with humans but there are a few simple actions you can follow if you do run into one to avoid any problems.

If you do come across a coyote, remain calm, don’t run and try to keep some space between yourself and the animal. Then slowly walk away and if the animal does not move away, throw an object at it to scare it off.

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