2 coyotes euthanized after 9 confirmed attacks in Stanley Park
VANCOUVER -- Conservation officials say two coyotes have been euthanized following a series of attacks in Vancouver's Stanley Park.
The coyotes were captured recently by members of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service after reports of aggressive behaviour in the popular park.
BCCOS's Simon Gravel told CTV News the service knows of nine attacks that have occurred since Dec. 23.
The service defines an attack as unwanted contact between wildlife and a human that causes injury, even if the injury is minor.
In this case, Gravel said, it was very clear to officers that the coyotes weren't playful.
He said the humans involved were always joggers on the trails through the park.
The coyotes came from behind without warning and bit the lower parts of the runners' legs.
Gravel said in some cases the runners had only a scratch, but in others, a coyote was able to "latch on" to a calf and bite.
Of the nine confirmed attacks, five people involved were told to seek some type of medical attention.
Gravel said multiple factors can change the animals' behaviour towards humans. While they're usually shy and scared, if they've been fed, they could become conditioned and seek more food from people passing by.
This can also cause them to lose their fear.
Trails in the park were closed after some of the attacks, but have since been reopened. However, Gravel said it's possible there are multiple coyotes exhibiting this type of behaviour, and anyone passing through the park is advised to be cautious and aware of their surroundings.
They should not run alone, BCCOS said. If a coyote approaches, they should make themselves appear as big as possible, shout and throw something.
Any sightings should be reported to B.C.'s Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) hotline, at 1-877-952-7277.