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Living in Harmony with Wildlife

December 28, 2023

Living in the town of Hanna offers resident the unique opportunity to enjoy the beauty of nature right in their backyards. However, wildlife, particularly coyotes, can sometimes cause concern for residents, especially those with pets. Wildlife and humans can coexist peacefully with the right precautions. The following aims to provide residents of Hanna some practical tips on how to prevent wildlife, including coyotes, from entering their yards and to ensure the safety of their pets.

Coyotes are highly adaptable and have learned to live close to human settlements. They are generally timid and avoid human contact, but interactions may occur when they are attracted to easily accessible food. Residents must recognize that the presence of coyotes is a natural part of the ecosystem and that efforts to peacefully coexist can be effective.

Tips to Prevent Wildlife Encounters

  1. Secure Trash: Coyotes are attracted to easily accessible garbage and will scavenge for food. Use animal-proof containers to reduce their interest in their property.
  2. Do Not Feed: Whether it’s intentional or unintentional, feeding disrupts their natural foraging behaviour. They soon realize where it’s easy to find food and return regularly.
  3. Remove Attractants: Keep your pet food inside. Leftovers or kibble for strays or your own pets will lure wildlife.
  4. Fence your Property: Ensure the fence extends below the ground to prevent digging and that it’s tall enough to discourage jumping.
  5. Supervise Pets: Be with your pets when they are outdoors to reduce the risk of encounters. Use a leash during walks and consider using a secure outdoor enclosure for pets to safely play. Take an airhorn or jingle bells along to be sure you are making noise. Unfamiliar noises will deter wildlife.
  6. Install Motion Activated Lights: Use them strategically near areas where wildlife may be drawn.
  7. Educate Neighbors: Collaborate with your neighbors to raise awareness about responsible wildlife management. Share information about the importance of not feeding wildlife and securing trash to create a community-wide effort.

Alberta’s Fish and Wildlife Website has some great resources. They offer some basic tips, similar to what we have provided but also have some specific information about how to deter specific animals suich as porcupines, skunks, foxes, beavers, bats, geese and more. There is even information for what to do and who to contact when you encounter an injured or orphaned wild animal.

By using proactive steps to reduce attractants and discouage wildlife from entering yards, residents can foster a harmonious coexistence with our natural world. By understanding and respecting the presence of wildlife, pets will be safe while we contribute to the preservation of Hanna’s unique environment. Together, Hanna residents and wildlife can continue to thrive side-by-side.