VANCOUVER -- A man punched a coyote while being attacked by two of the animals on Vancouver's Stanley Park seawall Sunday night, local police say.

The Vancouver Police Department says the man was riding an electric scooter near Prospect Point shortly before midnight when he collided with a coyote.

“He fell off his bike, he injured his collarbone and while he was on the ground a couple of coyotes began to nip at him, biting at his jacket and his clothing,” Sgt. Steve Addison said.

Addison says the man then punched one of the animals to fend them off and was able to flag down a passerby to call 911.

BC Emergency Health Services says they received a call at 11:22 p.m. for what was reported as a “multiple animal situation.”

One person was taken to hospital in stable condition.

Sgt. Simon Gravel with the B.C. Conservation Officer Service confirmed the coyotes ran off after the man punched one. He also explained they won’t be taking any further action because the man’s injury was caused by the fall, not by the animals attacking him.

Danny Piezas with the Stanley Park Ecology Society says in this instance, she does believe it’s unusual the coyotes attacked the man instead of running away.

“It would be more standard for a coyote to flee a scene where it perceives a threat and usually they do have that avoidant behaviour towards people,” Piezas said. “We’re seeing these patterns of really unusual behaviour and honestly we’re still trying to learn more about what is causing it, what kind of human-coyote interaction specifically may have led to what we’re seeing now.”

SInce mid-December, Piezas says there has been an increased number of reports of coyotes showing aggressive behaviour toward humans.

Two runners reported being bitten earlier this year, and in February, the B.C. Conservation Officer Service issued an unprecedented warning to runners: Stay out of Stanley Park.

Piezas says they are trying to learn more about what’s led to the change in behaviour, including whether humans feeding the animals have played a part. For non-emergency events, anyone who sees a coyote is urged to report the sighting to the Stanley Park Ecology Society.

While in the instance of a coyote attack, people should contact the Conservation Officer Service.