Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Coyotes Head to Beaches and a Fight with City Hall

A confluence of wild nature and ideological city of Toronto stupidity has hit the Beaches. Several years ago, the city put ideology into garbage disposal and stopped picking it up frequently. To make matters worse, they intend for most garbage to be in the recyclable category, which they now pick up only every 2 weeks. That is, the majority of city garbage hangs about in people's houses, porches, garages, and sheds for 2 weeks before being picked up. The city allowed that maybe compost ought to be picked up more frequently and opted for the weekly option, instead of returning to the decades-old practice of twice a week. So for up to one week, non-scrubbed out recyclables hang out for 2 weeks and bones, animal fat, and discarded raw silver skin moulder in the garbage, sending out their siren call to rats, raccoons, and now coyotes.

The city couldn't care less about how, in the words of one private health inspector, the increased amount of recyclable garbage was growing the rat population. They couldn't care less that garbage hanging out for too long on private property plus their stupid policy of not allowing trapped animals to be transported into rural areas, led to increased territorial disputes between raccoons, the psychological stress on humans of seeing that, and the worsening damage to property and threat to small dogs caused by too many raccoons. But now that a lawyer in the Beaches has had his dog chomped by a coyote, they're suddenly sitting up and taking notice. Nothing like the implicit threat of being sued by a Torontonian who knows the ropes to get the city to care.
"[Brad Gates, president of AAA Gates Wildlife Control] said the animals were likely attracted to the area because of food sources like garbage. ... Moving the Beach coyotes without addressing the issue of potential food sources would be pointless, he said."

"[Eletta Purdy, manager of Toronto Animal Services] said when coyotes cross paths with humans, the city has four options. The first is education, encouraging residents to keep an eye on their garbage and watch smaller pets." (


2 comments:

matt d said...

wildlife relocation is an ontario law not just a toronto and the reason for this law is 1.to stop the spread of diseases such as rabies and distemper and why do you think anyone outsde the city wants problem raccoons? both raccoon and coyote populations are at carring or near carring capicity in all of ontario relocation of wildlife is not the answer

talk talk talk / Shireen said...

I'd forgotten it was Ontario wide. But that's not the reason the city gives. The city says you cannot relocate beyond a short distance because it leads to the raccoons dying due to not fitting in with other animals' territories. The city couldn't care less about disease spread, otherwise they'd improve their garbage pickup.

As for outside the city, the wildlife companies that used to relocate the animals said they put them on their own acreage. And if the city is correct, and the raccoons were promptly killed off by their rivals, then don't see how they could be a problem.

Coyotes are not nearly at territorial limits. The raccoon population in Toronto is beyond its territorial limits, which is why we're seeing odd, disturbing behaviours these days. The city not picking up the garbage is a big part of the problem. The only solution is a cull and return to previous service levels of garbage pickup. Think any politician will go for either? Nah, me neither.