As Mississauga is home to Eastern Coyotes, it’s not uncommon to see them walking on City roads and sidewalks and lazing around in park spaces.
Use our interactive coyote map to check if there have been any recent sightings in your neighbourhood. If you encounter or notice a coyote in your area, report it online.
You can also learn more about how the City responds to coyote incidents.

What a coyote looks like

Coyotes can weigh anywhere from 25 to 45 pounds but can look larger because of their winter coats that vary in colour and shade. Coyotes are distinguishable from dogs and wolves.

When you encounter a coyote

Learn what to do when you encounter a coyote in public spaces or on your private property.

Coyote pups are born around the end of March through April. An average litter has four to six coyote pups.
Coyote pups are born blind and live in their den for about four to five weeks. After a month, they are weaned, and at the twelve-week mark, they outgrow their den. Coyotes are considered fully grown within the year of birth.
As coyotes are naturally wary of people, they don’t pose a high safety risk to humans. However, coyotes tend to watch and shadow residents unless they’re disturbed from doing soTo encourage coyotes to move away from you and the area, consider the following when you encounter a coyote:
  • Stay calm and do not turn your back or run.
  • If a coyote approaches you, stand tall, wave your arms, clap, yell, make startling movements or throw an object at it to scare it away.
  • If possible, open an umbrella, use a flashlight or activate an audible alarm to startle it away.
  • Do not feed coyotes or leave food for them in their spotted areas, as it encourages them not to fear humans and rely on people for food.

Trapping and relocating coyotes

Coyotes play an essential role in urban ecosystems. They help control rodents and other wildlife populations. Removing coyotes would cause a population increase of these animals.
When a coyote is removed from an area, this allows transient coyotes to claim the territory. Mated coyote pairs hold territories and keep other coyotes out.
Under Ontario’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, you are prohibited from:
  • capturing and relocating coyotes more than a kilometre away
  • using snare traps
Snare traps are illegal and pose a big risk to public safety. In addition, trapping or relocating coyotes will not resolve issues or reduce sightings and encounters.
If you encounter coyotes in your neighbourhood, reporting your sightings and allowing the City to address them is best.

Coyotes begin searching for their partners in January and begin mating in February. During this time of the year, you may:

  • See or encounter coyotes in search of a mating partner
  • Hear howling and yipping as coyotes communicate and mark their territory
Within a coyote pack, only the breeding pair can reproduce. Once the pups are born, which is during March and April, others in the pack:
  • Help take care of the pups
  • Hunt for food
  • Guard the pack
  • Defend the pack’s marked territory
After the pups are born, you may see coyotes foraging for food during the day. Coyotes are opportunistic and will eat what is readily available, including:
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Squirrels
  • Rabbits
  • Berries
  • Nuts
If you encounter a coyote near its den or territory, it might try to escort you to a safe distance. This behaviour is called shadowing.

Safety tips for pet owners

During mating season, incidents involving coyotes and pets can occur. This is because coyotes are more visible and can be more protective, defensive or bold in protecting their pups and territory.
Follow the safety tips below to keep your pets from getting involved with coyotes:
  • Keep a close eye on pets when you let them in your yard.
  • Go outside with your pet when they’re in the yard.
  • When walking your pet, keep them on a six-foot, non-extendable leash.
  • Feed your pets indoors or remove their food bowl after they finish eating.
  • Clean up after your pets to avoid attracting coyotes and other wildlife to the area.