Wawa is a rural community, and as such, has bears in the summer and wolves and coyotes in the winter. There have been several pets that have gone missing, and several that have been prey for the coyotes.
As with bears, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry offer tips for the public regarding coyotes. They explain that coyotes are usually wary of humans and avoid people whenever possible. However, they are wild animals and should not be approached, or fed either intentionally or unintentionally.
Suggestions are to use motion-sensitive lighting and/or motion-activated sprinkler systems to make your property less attractive to coyotes and other nocturnal wildlife. Fencing your yard at least 6′ tall (better check Municipal by-laws) with the bottom extending at least 6″ below the ground, so coyotes cannot dig under it. MNRF suggests that a roller system can be attached to the top of the fence, preventing animals from gaining the foothold they need to pull themselves up and over the top of a fence; or perhaps electric fencing.
Residents are reminded to keep their pets safe. “Cats and small dogs may be seen as prey by coyotes, while larger dogs may be injured in a confrontation. To avoid these situations, consider installing proper fencing. As coyotes are primarily nocturnal, pets should be kept inside at night. Keep all pets on leashes or confined to a yard. Keep cats indoors and do not allow pets to roam from home. Feed pets indoors. Spay or neuter your dogs. Coyotes are attracted to, and can mate with, domestic dogs that have not been spayed or neutered.”
If you encounter a coyote
- Do not turn your back or run. Back away while remaining calm.
- Use whistles and personal alarm devices to frighten an approaching or threatening animal.
- Call 911 if a coyote poses an immediate threat or danger to public safety.
- Never attempt to tame a coyote.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry reminds property owners that “You are responsible for managing problem wildlife, including coyotes, on your own property.”.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry helps you and municipalities deal with problem wildlife by providing fact sheets, appropriate agency referrals, and information on steps that can be taken to address problems with wildlife.
The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act sets out the legal actions you can take to deal with problem wildlife on your property. Generally, you or your agent may harass, capture or kill problem wildlife to prevent damage to your property. Additional authorization is required when this involves deer or elk; please contact the local ministry office for more information.
You can invite a licensed small game hunter or a trapper to hunt or trap coyotes on your property where local bylaws permit.