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Burlington Public strongly urged to not feed Coyotes after reports food was left out for them

Burlington Public strongly urged to not feed Coyotes after reports food was left out for them

Burlington staff say some residents are feeding coyotes and that is a cause of their increasingly aggressive behaviour which has resulted in a series of attacks on humans.

The City of Burlington has met with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) who shared the following information with City staff:

•          The number one point the experts state is that under no circumstances, should coyotes be fed by humans. When people feed coyotes, intentionally or unintentionally, coyotes become familiar with humans, are no longer afraid of humans and show more and more aggressive behaviour, as is being seen in south central Burlington. From what City staff shared with MNRF scientific and veterinary experts, the experts are convinced these localized attacks are coming from coyotes who have been conditioned to see humans as a food source. This creates an environment where wildlife is conditioned to be comfortable with direct human interaction and may come to depend on humans for food. Once a coyote crosses the boundary of acceptable interaction with humans the coyote must be eliminated for public safety, due to a situation they did not initiate.

•          MNRF staff advise that this is likely one localized, family of coyotes who may be depending on humans for food. The coyote that was eliminated after the first three attacks was most likely the father and taught the other coyotes in the family to behave this way. This type of aggression is learned from the parents and once it is learned, it becomes ingrained and the behaviour cannot be changed.

•          This family of aggressive coyotes is likely roaming within a two to three square kilometre area even though they are known to travel up to 15 square kilometres. Since coyotes are territorial, the experts advise this is one family creating this cluster of isolated attacks.

The City has received reports and photos of a bushel of corn left and frozen meals on the Centennial Multi-use Trail close to the site of the last attack. In a release the city states, “This must stop as it is attracting and conditioning the coyotes to be reliant on human feeding, leading to aggression and attacks on residents.”  Residents are being asked to report their concerns about direct or indirect feeding of wildlife to Animal Control at animalservices@burlington.ca or 905-335-3030 and are reminded that hand and ground feeding wildlife on private or public property is prohibited by the City’s Lot Maintenance Bylaw (49-2022) and is subject to a fine.

City of Burlington Animal Services staff are patrolling the area to locate this family of coyotes and their den. They are also working with a Certified Wildlife Control Professional to eliminate the family of coyotes.

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