Woman 'traumatized' after latest coyote attack in Stanley Park; runners urged to stay away from dusk to dawn
VANCOUVER -- Azi Ramezani has nightmares about coyotes and now refuses to go into Stanley Park.
“I'm traumatized,” she told CTV News. “This park is my backyard. I’ve been running here forever, and now I’m thinking if I ever can run again. I won't go back.”
Barely able to walk, Ramezani recounted how she was attacked by an animal that seemed to come from out of nowhere.
Just before dinnertime on Jan. 21, the avid runner was jogging along Stanley Park Drive near the Hollow Tree. She was on well-travelled pavement, and not down any trails, when she heard a growl.
“The next thing I know, there's a coyote behind me biting my leg,” she said “I knew that I shouldn't run, because I thought if I run again, it's going to go for me again.”
She screamed like she’s never screamed before, and the coyote finally took off. Passersby helped take her to hospital.
She has a bruise on her right leg, and a large bandage on the left, where teeth marks are clearly visible. Ramezani moves very slowly and doctors figure her long list of injuries, including a torn muscle, will take two years to fully heal.
Conservation officers estimate 14 cyclists and joggers have now been attacked by coyotes in Stanley Park.
“We think about 10 people were officially bitten, and have some serious bites on their legs,” said Sgt. Simon Gravel of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service.
Coyotes look the same and Gravel admitted it’s hard to track down which ones are attacking. He advised people to avoid running in the park at dawn and dusk.
“The animals are not just on the trails, they can come out of nowhere. And when they attack you, they're not nipping your pants, they're biting you,” said Ramezani..”They're going to break your skin and if you're lucky, you're not going to be needing stitches.”
Many trails have been closed to prevent further attacks, but the Vancouver Park Board confirmed it has no plans to close more areas.