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5 homeless people attacked by coyote in Prince George

This photo was posted to Facebook by the BC Conservation Officer Service on Tuesday, Sept. 26, along with a warning about a dangerous coyote. (Image credit: Facebook/ConservationOfficerService) This photo was posted to Facebook by the BC Conservation Officer Service on Tuesday, Sept. 26, along with a warning about a dangerous coyote. (Image credit: Facebook/ConservationOfficerService)

Five homeless people were attacked by a coyote in downtown Prince George Tuesday, according to officials.

Four people were bitten between 3:45 and 4:30 a.m. in the city's Parkwood and Connaught Hill area, according to a Tuesday social media post from the BC Conservation Officer Service. Three were taken to hospital for their injuries which are described as "non-life-threatening."

Conservation officers say they believe a single animal is involved but were unable to locate the "offending coyote" immediately after the attacks or on subsequent patrols.

"Conservation officers are working collaboratively with the City of Prince George on public outreach efforts, including signage and patrols. This information has also been communicated to shelter staff in the area," a social media post from the service says.

"Aggressive behaviour towards people is not typical and is likely the result of the animal becoming comfortable due to being fed, either directly or indirectly, by people."

On Wednesday, the service posted an update to Facebook saying a fifth person was bitten Tuesday evening around 7:30 p.m.

"The incident took place in the same vicinity of the earlier reported attacks. All of the individuals involved in these incidents are experiencing homelessness," it said.

The BCCOS advises people to take precautions such as leashing pets, keeping cats indoors, and travelling in groups. While the service believes a single coyote was involved in the Tuesday morning attacks, it also warns there could be other aggressive coyotes in the area.

But the most important thing people can do is refrain from feeding wild animals.

"The BCCOS cannot stress enough the importance of not feeding dangerous wildlife and will take enforcement action as warranted," the Facebook post continues.

Coyote sightings and "unlawful feeding of dangerous wildlife" should be reported by calling 1-877-952-7277, the service says. 

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