HomeScienceWildlifeCity of Burlington reminds residents of increased fines for feeding wildlife

City of Burlington reminds residents of increased fines for feeding wildlife

Through Lucy Mazzucco

Published November 24, 2022 at 4:42 PM

With the recent coyote attacks that have occurred in Burlington, the city is reminding residents of the importance of not feeding wildlife and the increased fines associated with the violation.

“Under no circumstances should coyotes/wildlife be fed by humans. Once the line of acceptable interaction with humans is crossed, the animal should be eliminated for public safety,” the city wrote on Twitter.

In an effort to prevent residents from feeding wildlife, the council recently decreed that animal control officers would be free to issue $300 (previously $150) tickets.

In addition, they can serve a subpoena with an increased fine range of $500 to a maximum of $100,000 (previously $5,000); although summons is usually reserved for serious offenses and repeat offenders.

At this time of year, it is common to spot coyotes hunting to feed themselves and their hungry pups.

While coyotes do a lot of good for ecosystems, they are predators by nature. They are known to hunt small animals in neighborhoods, including cats and small dogs in extreme cases. This is why residents are reminded never to leave their pets unattended, especially at night, even in a fenced backyard, as coyotes can see pets as a threat to their territory.

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So, aside from never feeding coyotes, here are a few tips for Burlington residents to keep their families and pets safe.

Residents are reminded to store garbage, compost, and pet food in an area out of reach of coyotes, supervise animals when in the yard, and clean up after their dogs, as coyotes are attracted to dog feces. Residents can also practice hazing to let coyotes know they are not welcome.

Although coyotes are naturally wary of humans, they will seek food and shelter in residential areas when the opportunity arises. That’s why it’s important never to feed coyotes that can cause aggressive behavior by becoming too familiar with humans.

If residents come face-to-face with coyotes, they may also appear aggressive by standing up, waving their arms, yelling, clapping their hands, and making a lot of noise. It’s important to remember never to turn your back on or run from a coyote and to always back away when you encounter pups.

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