Wildlife such as Coyotes, Raccoons, Skunks and Foxes are common in Aurora and York Region. These animals can be found in forests, trails and neighbourhoods.
You can help prevent wildlife from coming on to your property by limiting the food source. Removing sources of food by protecting pets and livestock, fencing gardens, and securing garbage and compost, will help encourage coyotes to go elsewhere. Most importantly, never feed coyotes or other wildlife.
Raccoons are popular all over Ontario, in forests and towns and cities. They can adapt to live in many habitats. Tips to help limit conflict with wildlife
The annual life cycle of raccoons consists of a breeding period during late winter and early spring, a growth period during the summer and fall, and a winter denning period.
In urban areas, raccoons can cause significant damage to roofs, garages, gardens and lawns. When searching for food, raccoons can spill garbage and break compost bins.
Wild animals have basic needs – food, water and shelter. Sometimes, humans and wild creatures come into conflict when animals are trying to meet their basic needs.
- Never feed raccoons or wildlife.
- Pick fruit as soon as it ripens.
- Keep barbecues clean and covered when not in use.
- Secure garbage in durable plastic containers with locking lids.
- Store garbage indoors until collection day.
- Keep garage doors closed and secure.
- Keep compost in containers that keep raccoons out while allowing for ventilation.
- Block off potential access points to your attic, garage and other buildings.
- Secure the perimeter of decks, sheds and crawl spaces.
- Keep indoor pet food and any other food away from a pet door and secure the pet door at night.
- Install a chimney cap.
- Trim branches near buildings to prevent easy access.
- Use flashing lights, motion sensors to deter raccoons and wildlife.
If you need any raccoons or certain animal removed from living in your home, please contact and hire a local wildlife removal expert
Canine Distemper in Raccoons
Canine Distemper (CDV) is a virus that is generally always present in the raccoon population but at low levels.
Raccoons with distemper may approach people, or curl up to sleep in open areas in close proximity to people. They generally act disoriented or lethargic, but can become aggressive if cornered.
Canine Distemper does not pose a threat to human health. Dogs who have not been vaccinated for distemper can become infected if they come in contact with a raccoon with distemper.
If residents notice a raccoon displaying abnormal or aggressive behaviour, they should call the OSPCA at 1-888-668-7722.
What is Canine Distemper?
Canine Distemper is a viral disease affecting animals in the canine families, in addition to some other mammals. It affects the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems. Raccoons, dogs and skunks can be infected. The disease is most often fatal and animals that recover may display permanent neurological damage.
Can humans catch Canine Distemper?
No. Humans cannot get Canine Distemper.
Can my dog catch Canine Distemper?
Yes. If your dog has not been vaccinated against distemper, and comes into contact with a raccoon with distemper. Most dogs are vaccinated as puppies, and then have regular boosters. Puppies that have not been vaccinated are at particularly high risk.
How can I keep my dog safe?
Keep your dog on a leash and check your backyard before letting your dog out.
What are the symptoms of a raccoon with distemper?
Raccoons with distemper may move slowly or stumble as they walk. They lose their fear of humans, appear blind and confused and may wander aimlessly and may become aggressive if cornered. A mucus discharge will often be present around the eyes and nose and may be accompanied by coughing, diarrhea, vomiting, tremors, seizures or chewing fits. They may only exhibit some of these symptoms and otherwise appear quite healthy.
Coyotes are usually wary of people and avoid contact whenever possible. It is unusual for coyotes to show no fear of humans. Coyotes displaying no fear of humans or exhibiting aggressive behaviours have likely been habituated to people through direct or indirect feeding.
The Ministry of Natural Resources is responsible for wildlife management in the province of Ontario. They have extensive information about coyotes, including a number of useful fact sheets on the Living with Coyotes section of their website.
The Ministry of Natural Resources asks residents who have observed situations where coyotes are exhibiting no fear toward people or are aggressively approaching people or pets to report any incidents to their Aurora District Office at 905-713-7400. Residents may leave a message at that line or use the auto attendant to speak directly with staff during regular business hours.
If there is an incident with a coyote that is a threat to public safety, please call 9-1-1 and alert York Regional Police.
For more information visit the Ministry of Natural Resources website.