Whitby residents are being cautioned not to feed Toronto-area coyotes. According to Durham Region, police are warning the public not to feed or approach coyotes after several sightings were reported in downtown Peel Park Tuesday night as well as other areas in Whitby. Durham Regional Service Constable George Tudos posted a Facebook warning Wednesday morning about the series of sightings.
“People are leaving food outside for them, which is attracting them. They’re wild animals. Apparently, there are dishes out in the park, and people are leaving meat for them. Our main concern is leaving food for them,” Tudos stated in a news release.
“We want to make sure people with small pets are safe in those areas (of coyote sightings). Don’t feed the coyotes,” he added.
Police confirmed that they did inspect Peel Park after receiving calls about the sighting. However, officers weren’t able to locate any coyotes. The Town of Whitby also reported numerous sightings of the animal.
“We want to reassure the community that there have been no reports of any incidents related to coyotes. It’s important to note that coyotes are generally shy animals and are quite normal to see in urban areas. Residents who encounter a sick or injured coyote are encouraged to report it to Whitby Animal Services at 905-655-0283,” stated Andre Gratton, Whitby’s manager of Enforcement Services.
Officers received calls about coyote sightings in Peel Park in Whitby. Please don't feed the coyotes. Make sure you… https://t.co/pdr6ZHz4i0— Durham Regional Police (@Durham Regional Police) 1572436683.0
Twitter users were quick to share their stories of coyote spottings after Durham Police released their statement. One Twitter user even stating, "There have been several sightings in the last month. I walked by one with my 2 small dogs yesterday morning."
Another user stated, "Coyote has also been sighted multiple times behind West Lynde Public School."
Toronto Police issued a public safety alert back in June after an 8-year-old boy was "attacked by what he believed to be a coyote." The alleged Toronto coyote attack left the boy with bites on his elbow and leg.
After #coyotes were spotted in downtown Peel Park Tuesday night, #Durham police have a warning for #Whitby resident… https://t.co/bPMS5nIdBk— durhamregion.com (@durhamregion.com) 1572452260.0
The incident occurred on June 19, in East York's Thorncliffe Park area. "The animal was reported to be salivating, foaming at the mouth during the incident, and as a precaution, the boy was treated with the rabies vaccination but does not exhibit signs of rabies on his own," police stated in their public safety alert.
Residents should remember that coyotes are a wild animal, and although they may look similar dogs, they can be dangerous.