Coexisting with coyotes

Have you seen the coyotes around campus? Coyotes live in and around UBC and can often be seen on campus. Back in 2020, students even named a unique individual Kip. UBC researchers are tracking coyotes to help understand their biology and behaviour and support management strategies to reduce human-coyote conflict.  

Coyotes are wild canids that share a recent common ancestor with domesticated dogs but are very misunderstood by people. Coyotes are very intelligent, curious, and adaptable to city life, where they assist with rodent control. Coyotes give birth in the spring and will protect their young through “escorting,” in which they follow the intruding person or dog until they leave their territory.

If you see a coyote while on campus, keep your distance, for their safety and yours. 

Don’t approach or feed coyotes

Do not approach or interact with coyotes (or any wild animals) per the Wildlife Act. Never feed or leave food out for a coyote. Coyotes hunt their natural prey self-sufficiently and do not require human handouts for survival. Feeding a coyote, directly or indirectly, can cause a dependence on humans that will put both the animal and people at risk. This practice is detrimental to the coyote over the long term.  

Coyote safety

Coyotes tend to be curious but not aggressive and will usually mind their own business if left alone. If they approach you or seem aggressive, follow the advice from the BC Conservation Officer Service (COS):  

  • Make yourself look as large as possible. 
  • Wave your arms and shout at the coyote in a loud, aggressive voice. 
  • If the coyote continues to approach, don’t run or turn your back. Continue to exaggerate the above gestures and slowly back away to safety.  
  • If you are walking your dog, make sure to keep it on a leash. Follow the steps above while moving yourself and your dog away from the coyote. Pick up small dogs if possible. 


If you see a coyote who needs urgent medical assistance or is endangering a person, call the COS Call Centre at 1 877 952 7277.