While the number of bear attacks in North America is on the rise, the number of coyote attacks in one Canadian park has gotten so out of hand that officials have now launched a full-on war altogether to remove the animals from the park’s premises.
Most of the time, coyotes are naturally fearful of humans, and attacks remain rare despite more and more coyotes moving into suburban areas throughout North America.
However, the coyotes in Vancouver’s Stanley Park have reportedly lost all fear of humans, leading to a startling rise in conflicts. Since December 2020, coyotes in the park have attacked people 45 times, including several incidents involving children.
As the number of coyote attacks continued to get out of hand, city officials elected to close the park from 7:00 pm to 9:00 am beginning on September 3rd in hopes that the temporary closure would reduce the frequency of coyote encounters.
Many residents and nearby business owners don’t feel the government is doing enough to combat the coyote attacks. According to the Vancouver Sun, two commissioners on the park’s board began calling for a government cull of the park’s coyote population to eliminate the threat of conflicts.
A petition has been circulating online as well, and it has garnered over 1,000 signatures in support of eliminating coyotes from the park before anyone else gets attacked.
“This situation is completely intolerable—a park that tens of thousands of people depend on for recreation has been turned into a playpen for wild coyotes so habituated to humans that they now view them as prey.”
Bill Tieleman is the man who launched the petition, and he’s a prominent political commentator and media personality in the Vancouver area. In his support of culling coyotes from the park, he has expressed that recommendations to avoid the park or to carry bear spray are simply unacceptable solutions.
There is also growing public anger that the park is currently unusable to the very tax-payers that fund it because of government inaction on managing the coyotes.
“You can’t unring this bell with those dogs, those coyotes. They’ve really become used to humans. So it’s a matter of time before a small child gets seriously injured or killed, and something has to be done.
The parks board should be advocating for the people who use the park, they’re the elected officials, and the conservation service should be dealing with it in a far-more-effective manner than they’ve done so far.”
So far, 7 coyotes have been authentic by the British Columbia Conservation Officer Service. The most recent coyote was dispatched after it approached within just a few feet of an officer who was shaking a box of food. The Conservation Officer service recently released a statement to address the issue and has begun a two-week trapping effort to trap and euthanize at least 35 coyotes from the park.
“Ongoing coyote attacks on humans, including children, and the feeding of the animals in Stanley Park has prompted the response.”
Coyotes are highly adaptable, and there is a chance that more of them move into the park after the existing populations of coyotes are removed. Still, for now, the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations has concluded that lethal removal of the coyotes is now warranted.