Urban coyotes have become very comfortable around humans and have at times attacked pets on leashes within metres of their owners
The coyote is a member of the dog family and is closely related to both the wolf and the domestic dog. Though scared of humans by nature, they are a risk to your pets and children.
How You Can Manage Your Wildlife Attractants and Keep Coyotes off Your Property
There are a number of things that you can do to keep coyotes away from your neighbourhood, your pets, and your livestock:
- Keep all garbage securely stored until collection day. Garbage must be placed in an approved wildlife container and shall not be placed out for collection prior to 5AM on collection day, unless securely covered with a tight fitting lid.
- Keep your pets indoors, especially at night. Cats and small dogs that are left to free-range, hunt small birds and rodents and in turn become prey themselves.
- Get rid of bird feeders. They attract birds, squirrels and rodents, which may attract coyotes.
- Feed pets indoors, or if fed outdoors, take in any feed that is not immediately eaten.
- Manage your compost properly. Composts that aren’t working well can attract rodents which in turn can attract coyotes.
- Surround your property with a solid fence that is 1.8 metres (6 feet) high.
What to Do if You See a Coyote
It is not unusual to see a coyote living in a wooded area. Fatal attacks by coyotes are extremely rare, due mainly to the small size of a coyote. In rural areas, they hunt sheep, poultry and calves. In urban areas, they damage garden crops, go through garbage and prey on pets such as cats and small dogs. If you encounter a coyote that is aggressive towards you, do not run as this may trigger an attack.
- Stay calm if a coyote approaches you and wait until they move on.
- Back away slowly and shout, clap your hands together or make a loud noise to scare coyotes away.
- If you have a walking stick use that to protect yourself, and/or deliver a series of hard kicks to the coyote’s ribs and stomach and that should be enough to dissuade the animal.
Call the British Columbia Conservation Officer Service toll free at 1.877.952.7277 to report any incidents with coyotes.
The WildSafeBC website is a great source of information about coyotes and how to keep safe.