Coyotes in the Don Valley

By Ashlee McMillan

In recent years Torontonians have reported more and more uncomfortably close encounters with the coyotes of the Don Valley. And these stories keep circulating.

In the wee hours of dawn coyotes have been spotted sunning themselves on the hilltops of Donalda Golf and Country Club. Residents close to Neville Park had the unfortunate fate of seeing their beloved small dogs carried off by hungry coyotes. But what has sparked this once reclusive and sparsely seen creature into bold and over zealous inner city roaming?

A lone coyote on the hunt
A lone coyote on the hunt

As Toronto’s population continues to boom the Don Valley’s wildlife have to adapt to this change in order to survive. Coyotes are faced with a new reality of increasingly limited roaming and hunting space. Coyotes now use the GO train system as a corridor to finding food. On their travels throughout the city they have discovered that our garbage makes a pretty quick and easy meal. Why risk chasing around a rabbit when dumpster diving is readily available in the big city? But such close encounters can be bad news for coyotes. Being so close to densely populated areas brings an increase risk of danger such as cars. It is important if you see a coyote not in the Don Valley to call the proper authorities or 311.

A travelling coyote
A travelling coyote

Coyote and her pups in a den
Coyote and her pups in a den

After a long day of being on the prowl for food Coyotes like to slumber tucked away into dens situated close to the Don River throughout the Don Valley. Coyotes are not known to hibernate and are reported being seen more frequently in the winter. Their thick blonde and brownish fur keeps them warm throughout the winter.

Happy hiking everyone!

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