Coyote incident results in the eliminating of the animal - also points to a situation that could have been disastrous.

By Staff

August 24th, 2022



Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte sent the following to her constituents:

The City of Burlington, with the expertise of a Certified Wildlife Control Professional, have eliminated the coyote identified by its victims in recent unprovoked attacks on humans in south central Burlington.

A third recent unprovoked coyote attack on a human was reported to the City yesterday evening. Animal Services staff played a key role in tracking the coyote identified as being responsible for all three attacks.

The Councillor misnamed the location – it isn’t a lookout – it is one of the many windows on the lake that adjacent property owners used to discourage the public from using. Great place to just while away some time

During the evening, an 18-year-old girl was lying in the grass at the municipal lookout at the end of Market Street, south of Lakeshore Road, when she felt a tug on her hair. She turned to see a coyote which then bit and scratched her leg as she stood up. The girl was taken for medical attention and was released.

The two other recent attacks were also unprovoked but during the day.

The first unprovoked attack was on a female adult on the Centennial Multiuse Trail at Seneca Avenue in the morning. The coyote jumped and bit her from behind.

The second unprovoked attack was on a 2 ½ year-old toddler seated on a deck in his fenced backyard less than two kilometres east of the first attack.

There was no food, small animals or any other activity to attract the coyote. The toddler was also bitten on the back of the neck. Both victims were treated at Joseph Brant Hospital and released.

The attacks are uncharacteristic of coyotes and are the first reported attacks on humans in Burlington.

Centennial Trail at Seneca Avenue

Municipalities are responsible for taking appropriate actions to manage resident encounters with coyotes and take appropriate action on municipal property. On the rare occasion that a coyote attacks a person, the City has a Council approved protocol in place that is currently being followed to prioritize and deal with the one coyote in question.

Anyone who sees a coyote is encouraged to let the City know by submitting an online report or calling 905-335-3030. Reporting coyote sightings, or potential problems related to overgrown building sites, garbage or someone intentionally or accidentally feeding a coyote, helps the City monitor the location and activity of coyotes in the community.

The coyote problem has taken on a new dimension; while the behaviour of this particular coyote is uncharacteristic – it is at the same time very serious.

There is some serious work to be done – hopefully City Manager Tim Commisso will pull together all the people who are involved in public safety and animal control and push the edge of that envelope to determine if there is something we are not doing that we should be doing and if there is new information that has not yet reached our people.
The incident involving a 2 ½ year-old toddler seated on a deck in his fenced backyard is more than a red flag.

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8 comments to Coyote incident results in the eliminating of the animal – also points to a situation that could have been disastrous.

  • Stephen White

    There has been a proliferation of coyote attacks across the Region in the last ten years. They have become increasingly aggressive, and many are no longer afraid of people. There are idiots out there who continue to feed them, or who leave food on their property which attracts them.

    In one week in September 2020 there were seven attacks on pets in my East Burlington neighbourhood. People have given up reporting them because Animal Control’s response is effectively “so what”. In West Oakville there have been several incidents in which coyotes have scaled fences and entered people’s backyards and attacked their dogs. Pet owners are on the hook for several thousand dollars in vet bills.

    I’ve lobbied and delegated at Burlington Council for years urging them to do something about this problem. It doesn’t surprise me that a resident has been attacked. What surprises me is that the public doesn’t demand greater accountability and response from public officials. The suggestion that somehow a toddler, a jogger, or someone simply walking their dog, is somehow the cause of the attack, is just plain insensitive. I’m waiting for the point where someone gets seriously attacked, and then turns around and files a lawsuit against the City for damages.

  • Doug P

    3 people bit by a coyote (non seem to be too serious), the first reported in Burlington ? How many people were bitten by domestic dogs in the same period, so lets put down every dog that bites someone, or make it a bylaw every dog must be muzzled no matter the size. At least coyotes keep the stray cat problem in check.

  • Mitch

    City staff are priorizing coyotes over people’s safety. It’s time to remove them. Coyotes in Burlington are relatively recent. We’ve lived in Shoreacres and until about six or seven years we had never seen them. Now it’s a common occurrence. Being an election year should help get action

  • Sally Hewitt

    The coyote was eliminated ? Why are you not saying killed or euthanized? Was this coyote humanely euthanized ?
    This was a living breathing creature who deserves respect

  • Ted Gamble

    Penny is absolutely correct. Phil I suspect numbers of predators are significantly up due to a number of factors, habitat loss, an abundance of prey that increased, pets, no enemies, complacency from citizens & authorities. I have personally seen coyotes and fox mid day and one coywolf last December. Packs of two and three have attacked pets in my area.
    I would like to understand how they can possibly be certain this is one coyote. Did he have a name tag?
    First action the city needs to encourage all citizens to report sittings and where and publish this on line for the community.. An estimate of their population should be done and they should be regularly trapped and relocated to remote areas regardless of the MNH. Deal with it. It is ridiculous to suggest that we all need to live with this and by the way bear cubs even fall prey to coyotes

  • Penny Hersh

    Coyote sightings and attacks on small dogs have been an issue in Burlington for a few years. It took 3 attacks on people, one being a child, for the City of Burlington to take proper action.

    Telling residents to stand tall, scream, yell and blow a coyote whistle if approached by a coyote obviously doesn’t work, especially if the coyote is sick. It can in fact give people a false sense of security.

    I would like to know if those who were bitten had to be subjected to the rabies protocol, which is very painful? Can’t imagine the trauma that results from such an attack, especially for a 2 1/2 year old.

    I would also hope that the City will inform residents after the test results are in if this coyote had rabies.

    Indicating that this is not typical coyote behaviour does not let the city off the hook.

    It is my hope that the city will do more in watching the behaviour of coyotes who are in the area rather than once again being reactive, instead of being pro-active.

  • Philip Waggett

    These “attacks” are very unusual. I’ve lived in South Burlington for over 40 years and have many encounters with coyotes that are invariably the same–the coyote just walks/runs away. I’ve never seen these animals as a threat at any time as they are looking for the abundant prey that live within our city limits. I’m wondering if there is more than we are being told in these incidents.

    • Michael Parkinson

      Your statement “I’m wondering if there is more than we are being told in these incidents” is ludicrous and beyond the pale. What are you suggesting…that the parent’s (and, my neighbours) of a 2 1/2 year old boy are just making their story up or a young woman relaxing at a “window on the lake” is not being truthful? While you have ‘never seen these animals as a threat at any time…” this coyote issue is a real and present danger to our community that requires a macro, long-term solution.