Wildlife

As the Town of Caledon includes many rural landscapes, wild animals are commonly spotted. Contact the Caledon OPP at 1-888-667-1950 if a wild animal is posing an immediate threat to public safety.

Check out the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry for more information about wildlife in the province.

Report sick or injured wildlife

If you see a wild animal that you believe is sick or injured, you can contact us by phone at 905-584-2272 x 4698. You can reach us after hours at 1-800-563-7881.

Here are some additional resources to help with sick or injured wildlife:

Common wildlife in Caledon

Learn how to avoid conflicts with wildlife and how best to protect yourself, your family and your property.

Coyotes

Coyote sightings are common in the Town and they are often attracted when fed by people either on purpose or unintentionally. If you encounter a coyote follow these tips:

  • Stay calm and wait until it goes away
  • Don't turn your back and run, coyotes may chase you
  • If approached, stand tall and wave your arms to make yourself look as large as you can
  • Clap, yell, whistle or shout loudly and make lots of noise to startle the coyote
  • Startle the animal with sudden movements
  • Throw an object towards the coyote

Prevent coyotes on your property

To prevent coyotes from coming onto your property, you should:

  • Properly store and maintain garbage containers
  • Keep pet food inside
  • Avoid composting meat products
  • Don't feed or approach coyotes
  • Install motion-sensitive lighting to scare away coyotes
  • Bird feeders can attract birds and squirrels, which may attract coyotes
  • Clean up after pets. Coyotes are attracted to animal feces

While a coyote can be removed from private property by a wildlife control agency, they are intelligent and almost impossible to live trap. Further, provincial rules require that trapped wildlife be released close by where they were trapped to make it easier for them to return to their home range. Killing coyotes has little effect on the overall population. If coyotes are killed, they compensate by producing larger litters.

Protect your pets from coyotes

Coyotes may prey on small pets. Follow these tips to protect your pet from a coyote attack:

  • Keep dogs inside at night
  • Spay and neuter your dogs
  • Keep cats indoors at all times
  • Make sure your pet is on a short leash while on a walk or in an enclosed yard
  • Building a dog run in your yard can keep your dog safe while outside

Understanding coyotes

Understanding coyote behaviour can help you avoid them:

  • Coyotes are very active at dusk, dawn and during the night.
  • They don't hibernate in winter
  • While curious they are usually shy, cautious and non-confrontational
  • Coyotes don't form packs like wolves
  • They are predators to livestock in rural areas
  • In urban areas coyotes may forage through gardens, garbage and possibly prey on domestic pets
  • Coyotes also provide the benefit of helping to control small mammals such as mice, rabbits, groundhogs and woodchucks

Foxes

In order to keep safe, you should:

  • Stay away from fox den sites
  • Carry a flashlight or personal alarm to scare foxes away
  • Enclose areas under patio decks, sheds and other potential den sites in your yard
  • Keep your cat indoors from dusk until noon

Signs of illness

If you see a fox exhibiting signs of illness, contact Animal Services. These signs include:

  • Staggering
  • Falling down
  • Inability to walk
  • Unprovoked aggression
  • Biting at limbs
  • Attacking inanimate objects

Understanding foxes

Understanding the behaviour of foxes can help you avoid them:

  • Foxes breed once a year in the spring, usually producing a litter of five
  • Foxes are solitary and shy preferring to hunt alone and avoid confrontation with people
  • They are most active at dusk and dawn but it is common to see them during the day
  • They may hunt small animals for meat but they are omnivores
  • Foxes do not hibernate during the winter
  • To avoid other predators, foxes will often live near humans
  • They prefer open, grassy areas with bushy fence lines and woody stream borders
  • Fox dens are often in hollow trees or, in urban areas, they may locate under decks, sheds or in wood piles

Raccoons

Raccoons have adapted to urban living and can become a nuisance. They can also carry disease that affects people or pets like rabies, distemper, parvovirus, mange, fleas and roundworm. To prevent raccoons from living on your property, you should remove food from your yard, such as:

  • Bird seed
  • Pet food
  • Fallen fruits
  • Garbage and compost

What to do if you're bitten by a raccoon

If you are bitten or scratched by a raccoon, you should:

Signs of illness

A raccoon is injured or sick if they are showing these distress signs:

  • Disoriented, staggering or falling over
  • Mucous around the eyes or nose
  • Act tame and approach pets or people
  • Act aggressive and approach pets or people
  • Lying or sleeping on the ground
  • A baby raccoon is found alone

Understanding racoons

Knowing about racoon behaviour can help you understand what to expect if they are on your property. Racoons are:

  • Nocturnal
  • Omnivores that will eat almost anything
  • They do not fully hibernate and may be seen during milder winter weather
  • Male racoons are solitary while female racoons raise their litter in the spring and young racoons will stay with the female until winter or the following spring
  • During the day they will usually sleep in a tree or on a rooftop

Deer

The Town of Caledon has a healthy population of deer that live and travel within the Town's ravines and wooded areas. They are most active at dusk and dawn. While deer can have a home range of hundreds of acres, in the winter they will group together to stay warm and protected. During winter, they will locate near food and water sources to conserve energy.

Avoid feeding deer

Many people enjoy watching deer from a distance. Please don't feed deer because it can cause:

  • Damage to the environment as a result of overpopulation
  • Spread of disease among deer due to overcrowding and excessive populations
  • Spread of Lyme disease among deer which can also be a threat to human health
  • Artificial diets of human food can cause illness and digestive problems for the deer, including malnutrition and even death
  • Dependency for food from humans and aggression among deer as they compete for the food source
  • Exposure to predators and bad weather as deer being fed may stay in one location rather than seeking cover
  • Increased and highly concentrated deer populations can lead to more vehicle collisions with deer

Skunks

Skunks are common throughout the Town of Caledon and can be a nuisance. They are nocturnal and are most active at night. Skunks will release a strong odour or spray when they feel threatened.

Prevent skunks on your property

Skunks are very adaptable and can thrive in most places that have food and shelter. Skunks create dens in hollow structures such as tree trunks, logs and brush piles. Make sure to enclose areas under decks, sheds and porches.

Snakes

If you encounter a snake, don't attempt to touch or handle it. Many Ontario snakes, including the Massasauga Rattlesnake, are protected under the Ontario Endangered Species Act and the Canadian Species at Risk Act.

Prevent snakes from living on your property

To stop snakes from living on your property, you should:

  • Remove hiding spaces, such as rock gardens and wood piles
  • Keep grass and other vegetation trimmed
  • Seal ground level holes and cracks
  • Ensure siding is in good repair

Snakes in Ontario

There are 17 different species of snakes in Ontario. Snakes are:

  • Carnivores eating small animals like mice, lizards, frogs and insects
  • Usually active by day
  • Solitary and timid usually avoiding encounters with humans or other predators
  • Mostly harmless to humans being unlikely to bite unless handled directly
  • The eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake is the only venomous snake that lives in Ontario, mostly along the eastern shore of Georgian Bay and the northern Bruce Peninsula

Snakes play an important role in maintaining healthy ecosystems by keeping insect and rodent population at normal levels.

West Nile Virus

Learn how to prevent the spread of West Nile Virus as well as symptoms and treatments through the Regional Peel Public Health.