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Wild Animals

Squirrel on the rim of a garbage bin

Essex County is home to many wild animals. Raccoons, skunks, squirrels and opossums are commonly sighted in parts of the Town of Essex. In recent times, more frequent sightings of deer, coyotes and foxes have been reported.

While attacks on humans are considered to be rare occurrences, residents are urged to take the following safety precautions to protect themselves and their property from hungry wild animals:

  • Securely dispose of food and kitchen waste - the scent of food attracts animals.
  • Don't put your garbage out for collection until the morning.
  • Don't feed your pets outside.
  • Keep small dogs and cats inside at night.
  • Don't feed wild animals! It's not good for them and it may make them dependent on human interaction.

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry makes these additional recommendations:

  • Keep your distance and the animal will most likely avoid you.
  • Never approach or touch a wild animal.
  • Don't turn your back or run away from a wild animal - back away from it!
  • Stand tall, wave your hands, and make lots of noise.
  • Carry a flashlight at night.
  • Keep your yard clean of dog feces - coyotes are attracted to it.
  • Spay or neuter your dog to avoid attracting wild animals looking to mate.

Call 9-1-1 if a wild animal poses an immediate threat or danger to public safety.