Coming face to face with a wild animal is quite a unique experience to those who dwell in the city, far removed from our distant animal neighbours that habituate outdoors.
Because of the rise in developments around Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake, coyotes are being forced to find new places to live, thus occupying populated neighbourhoods. This time of year, autumn, is when pack members disperse from one another to find a mate, to start or find a new pack. Many people have been expressing their fear of these canines around the Niagara region. Here at the Humane Society, we do our best to educate our community about varying types of animals, domesticated and otherwise. We advocate for peace and cooperation with our furry friends.
Your frustrations towards this species’ lurking habits may be misplaced, because in reality the rise in sightings is likely due to humans intentionally or unintentionally providing a source of food for these animals, as opposed to the animals looking for trouble. They’re just trying to survive and feed their families. An overflowing bird feeder, fallen fruit, and mishandled compost are things that attract animals such as insects, squirrels, rabbits, rodents and chipmunks – all prey species for coyotes. By eliminating these unintentional attractions, coyotes will go elsewhere for food.
If your backyard becomes a visiting ground for these incredibly adaptable canines, report it right away (you can fill out a form online). Scope out your property for anything that could be attracting them. Yes, you may think they are cute and resemble a domestic pet. No, you should not treat them as such! If you are aware of coyotes being fed in your area, report it to the city of Niagara Falls. They are fully capable of hunting their own meals, intentionally feeding them is an invitation for trouble.
Keep a watchful eye on any pets you let romp around and explore outdoors. Between dusk and dawn is when coyotes are most active, so be sure to keep your pets indoors during the night. Cats are definitely at risk for being prey if they stray too far from home, try to keep them close.
If you are in an area where coyotes are wandering and happen to spot one, I will walk you through the steps you can take to handle the encounter safely. You have to make yourself as big as you can, wave your hands above your head and yell for them to go away loudly. Throw an object in their direction, but not at them. The goal is not to cause harm, but to assert your dominance in that space. Do not turn your back and run from the coyote, slowly back away. Always be aware of your surroundings.
There is an extraordinary number of living creatures that we share our planet with, many of which we deem dangerous. Just because we label them as such, does not mean they deserve a target on their backs. Our goal is to educate the community, lessen fear and build knowledge and understanding. Coyotes play an important role in Niagara Fall’s ecosystem, as they help in eliminating small vermin while stopping them from destroying grapevines. Protecting ourselves should go hand-in-hand with protecting the wildlife we share our environment with.
By Alexandra Hari
Now here is a peak at some of the animals up for adoption right now at the Niagara Falls Humane Society:
Pictured Below, Dallas at the Niagara Square Adoption Centre who is an 8 year old cat looking for a new home. CLICK HERE for more Information.
Pictured Below, Cricket at the Niagara Square Adoption Centre who is a 3 year old cat looking for a new home. CLICK HERE for more Information.
Pictured Below, Bones a Mastiff and Dawson a Lab Mix that are at the Niagara Falls Humane Society and are a bonded pair looking for a home together. Do you have lots of love to give these two? CLICK HERE for more Information.
For information on all the animals at the Niagara Falls Humane Society go to: www.nfhs.ca
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