Wednesday, December 30, 2015 10:15 am ·  2 Comments
By Gisele Shaw
Coyotes are part of Oakville’s natural environment. Usually docile, they are currently more visible in
some residential areas as they are sick with mange. Sarcoptic mange is a type of mite that burrows under the skin of an infected coyote, causing severe itching, lethargy, immune dysfunction and eventual loss of fur. Left untreated, it is often fatal. Mange does not pose a risk to humans and is unlikely to spread to pets as it requires sustained close contact to spread.
Coyotes with mange are more likely to come into residential neighbourhoods as they attempt to find food and stay warm. While the risk to human safety is very low, pets may be at risk as they may be seen as a food source or a threat.
What is the Town doing
To address the current situation, the town is working with the Oakville Humane Society to assist in
locating and treating infected coyotes. The coyote reporting system helps by locating and assessing
behavioural patterns. Please report coyote sightings and activity through this system at oakville.ca.
This system is not meant for emergencies. If there is an immediate risk to safety call 911.
The town has had an extensive coyote awareness program since 2012, with a focus on education and preventing situations that may cause conflict. Coyotes have proven to be a very low risk to human safety, including children. Babies and very young children should not be left alone regardless of whether coyotes are in the area or not. Details on this program are available at oakville.ca.
Removal and relocation
What you can do
DO NOT FEED. This includes accidental feeding (e.g. garbage, messy bird feeders, fallen fruit, etc.) or on purpose. Well-meaning residents who feel sorry for the coyotes have been leaving food out for them.
Feeding causes coyotes to approach people. It is against town by-laws to feed coyotes on public or private property. There are a variety of simple things that each of us can do to co-exist and prevent human – wildlife conflicts.
If you encounter a coyote:
How to make your property unwelcome
You can discourage coyotes from hanging around homes by scaring them off each time they are
seen on your property. Use flashing lights, motion sensors and noise makers.
Ensure that garbage and compost is inaccessible, outdoor pet food is securely stored, fruit is picked
from trees and off the ground, and rodent habitats such as neglected yards, garages or sheds are
removed or kept clean.
Put up a two-metre high fence that extends at least 20 centimetres underground or is at least flush
with the ground
Keeping pets safe
If you observe an injured or dead coyote please contact the Oakville Milton Humane Society at