Responding to coyotes with lethal force is not only unnecessary, it creates (and reinforces) a public narrative that coyotes are dangerous. While the media may at times reinforce this myth, the evidence is clear: coyotes are naturally shy animals who scare easily. Coyote attacks are extremely rare and Toronto is no exception.
Our organization, The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals, in partnership with the Toronto Wildlife Centre and Coyote Watch Canada, are calling on the city of Toronto to take action to prevent these incidents from happening again.
We are calling on Toronto Council to enact a by-law regulating the feeding of wildlife on all land throughout the GTA, in order to manage garbage and other attractants appropriately.
The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals (APFA) would facilitate this at no cost to the city of Toronto.
We need your help.
If you are a Toronto resident, please contact your city councillor encouraging him/her to support a non-lethal approach to urban wildlife management and to accept our help. For your convenience you can use/modify the sample letter below and the following email addresses.
Dear Mayor Ford and Council,
As a resident of Toronto, I was appalled to learn that an urban coyote was recently shot and killed in Cabbagetown.
This incident was completely unnecessary and sends a terrible message to the public that coyotes should be feared and are expendable.
The truth is that coyotes are naturally shy dog-like animals that scare easily. There are hundreds of urban coyotes that inhabit every part of town and coyote attacks are extremely rare.
In fact, Toronto Animal Services has only one coyote attack on record involving a human being: a “very minor bite” more than a decade ago when a woman was feeding a wounded coyote.
I am concerned that local residents and Toronto’s police do not have the appropriate tools to address urban wildlife issues and their default response is to simply kill animals. This is not acceptable.
I am aware that 3 organizations including The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals, Toronto Wildlife Centre and Coyote Watch Canada are urging council to adopt a bylaw to prevent the feeding of wildlife and are offering free assistance to the city to help create a “Living with Coyote” program.
Such initiatives will not only provide necessary education to residents about how to respond appropriately to urban coyotes, they will also go a long way to protect the animals themselves.
Will you please accept the help of these organizations and adopt a no wildlife feeding bylaw and a “Living with Coyotes” program?