Coyotes are not usually dangerous to people. A potential exception is if they become habituated to people and lose their natural fear. Regular coyote presence in your backyard is likely a result of a nearby food source. It is important to eliminate these sources of food.
Coyotes are very adaptable and though the majority of their diet consists of small rodents they enjoy fruit, birds, and dog poop. These food sources also attract rodents which are the mainstay of urban coyote meals.
If a coyote is in your yard, it is imperative that you make the animal aware it is not welcome there. Coyotes can be scared off by waving sticks or brooms at them, and clanging pots and pans in their direction. Coyotes should not be ignored on your property. They should be discouraged from being there.
How can I help to reduce or avoid problems with coyotes?
- Don’t approach or feed coyotes.
- Clean BBQs and outdoor cooking areas.
- Clean up your compost, garbage and other potential food sources and store them in the appropriate receptacles.
- Don’t leave food or pet food outside.
- Clean up after your pets, even in your own yard.
- Clean up around bird feeders.
- Clean up fallen fruit.
- Keep watch or accompany your pet in your yard, especially during the night and low-light hours.
What should I do if a coyote approaches or acts aggressive?
- Do NOT run or turn away.
- Try to scare the animal by shouting and waving your arms overhead.
- Bang sticks or clang pots together towards the animal.
- Maintain eye contact with the animal and back away slowly.
What else can I do to avoid a negative encounter?
- Never leave small children unattended.
- Never approach wildlife and teach your children not to either.
- Carry a shrill whistle or portable alarm with you in areas frequented by coyotes.
- Keep dogs on a leash—even in off-leash areas and especially in areas frequented by coyotes.
- Keep cats inside your home.
- Secure open areas under porches, decks or steps. Before sealing any openings ensure the area is unoccupied by all babies and adults.
For more information, please visit Calgary.ca/parks