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No coyote attacks in Stanley Park since fines enacted, cull

No coyote attacks since fines

There have been no reports of coyote attacks in Stanley Park since fines were approved for feeding wildlife and a cull of the canines was completed in September 2021.

The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation approved two new fines in September for feeding wild animals in the city's parks: one for directly feeding wild animals and one for leaving attractants out to draw wild animals out.

People feeding coyotes and leaving food for other animals have been blamed for the more than 40 coyote attacks that have happened since winter 2020. Amit Gandha, the acting director with the parks board, told board members about how conservation officers rustled a bag of chips at a coyote to draw it near. In the report, photos were also shared of someone using food to draw raccoons close for photos.

Nigel McInnis, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Forests, told Vancouver Is Awesome in an email that there has been a couple of reports of aggressive coyote behaviour in the park following the cull and approval of the new fines. However, both of the reports were made to the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line on Oct. 1.

In the first incident, people reported a coyote chasing a person on a bike around 12:30 p.m. Shortly after that, at 2 p.m., conservation officers received a report of a coyote chasing a cyclist near the Bridal Trail.

There has only been a small number of coyotes observed in Stanley Park following the cull, he added. "It is unknown if they are resident or transient individuals."

It is "not normal behaviour for coyotes to pursue people," underscored McInnis. "Aggressive behaviour towards people is usually the result of the animal becoming comfortable due to being fed, either directly or indirectly, by people."

Vancouver Park Board spokesperson Eva Cook told V.I.A. in an email that the Stanley Park Ecology Society has continued to receive reports of coyote sightings in the city.

"We encourage residents to report any sightings of coyotes to the Stanley Park Ecology Society and through 311 or the VanConnect app as this is vitally important for monitoring and responding to any changes in behaviour as necessary," she said.

The park board estimates that there are fewer than 10 coyotes living in Stanley Park at this time. That said, the canines are transient by nature so that number may increase or decrease as they move in and out of the park.

The Park Board hasn't issued any tickets since it enacted the new by-law by stresses the importance of not feeding wildlife and maintaining a safe distance from coyotes.

If you see a coyote, keep a respectful distance. If approached, remember to stand tall, yell and do not run.

The public is asked to please report any aggressive coyote behaviour and or feeding of coyotes to the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.

– with files from Brendan Kergin



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