There are concerns from visitors about coyotes in Sam Smith Park. It's important to remember that coyotes are a natural part of the urban landscape, and are an important part of our ecosystem as they help control the rodent populations. It's normal to see coyotes throughout the winter, because they are not hidden by foliage. Additionally, their mating season is January-February, during which they are more active and visible. Coyotes generally do not pose a danger to people but can pose a danger to pets; it is not uncommon for coyotes to injure or kill cats and small dogs. Residents living near green spaces, ravines and other areas where coyotes exist, should always supervise their pets. Cats should be kept indoors, and dogs should only be allowed off-leash in designated dog-off-leash areas. Stay close to your dog and ensure they respond well to voice commands.
To help minimize negative coyote encounters please remember the following:
Never feed coyotes and don’t leave food, including pet food, outside.
Properly dispose of waste at home and in parks.
When encountering a coyote, do not run, but make noise to scare the coyote away.
Do not approach coyotes, their dens or their young.
Do not touch coyotes, even if they appear tame, sick or injured.
If you encounter a coyote, these are the steps you can take to protect yourself and your pets:
Do not run: Avoid turning your back, maintain eye contact and slowly back away.
Be big: Make yourself appear as large, imposing or as threatening as you can. For example, raise your arms in the air or wave your jacket.
Be loud: Making loud sounds or noises can help to scare a coyote away. For example, blow a whistle or air horn (if available), stomp your feet, clap your hands, snap open a large plastic or garbage bag, yell “go away coyote” to alert people nearby.
Be assertive: Display behaviour to scare the coyote away. For example, swing a walking stick or cane (if available), shine a flashlight on the coyote, throw a tennis ball or a small pebble or stick in the direction of the coyote to scare it away.