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'It is hard to predict wildlife behaviours': Tips for avoiding conflict with coyotes after recent B.C. attacks

The BC Conservation Officer Service is warning the public after a string of coyote attacks in the Lower Mainland.

In April, there were numerous reports of coyotes attacking dogs in parks on Vancouver's West Side, and last week a coyote went after a two-year-old in Port Coquitlam.

On Sunday, a six-year-old was attacked in Burnaby's Deer Lake Park.

Lisa Lopez, program manager for WildSafeBC, joined CTV Morning Live on Friday to discuss the recent attacks and ways people can avoid conflict with coyotes.

"It is hard to predict wildlife behaviours," she said. "What we can suggest to people is: Try to find ways to keep wildlife from staying in urban spaces or being comfortable in urban spaces and around people."

She said managing "attractants" is key to discouraging coyotes from staying near people.

"Things like garbage, compost, pet food, etc., are going to bring coyotes into urban spaces and make them used to people," Lopez said.

She added that being aware of your surroundings when spending time in areas where coyotes might be present can help avoid conflict.

"If you're aware of your surroundings, you might slow down, you might notice something from a distance and be able to back away, move out of that area. Also, making noise – making sure the animals know you're in that area as well – can help," Lopez said.

And if you do encounter a coyote in a park?

"The most important thing is to not run," Lopez said. "As with any predatory species, any kind of 'turn your back and run' action is going to elicit the predator-prey chase response." Top Stories


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