Coyote encounters: What you should do if you are approached

May 14 2021, 3:53 pm

Although wolves and coyotes are not usually a threat to humans, they can become aggressive if they become comfortable with us.

In fact, the Stanley Park Ecology Society has reported 16 known aggressive coyote biting incidents in Vancouver’s Stanley Park, since December 2020.

According to the province, these types of encounters are usually a result of indirect or direct feeding.

The most recent reported incident occurred on May 13, 2021. A woman suffered minor injuries after she was bitten on the leg while running along the seawall between Siwash Rock and Third Beach, shortly after 10 am.

The BC Conservation Officer Service (BCCOS) has been investigating coyote attacks in Stanley Park since the incidents began in the winter. The public safety provider is urging the public to take proper precautions in the event they encounter an aggressive coyote in Stanley Park.

The Government of BC has outlined the following advice, which may be useful if you happen to encounter a coyote or a wolf:

  • Sightings:
      • Scare away approaching predators: Do not run away. Use stones, sticks, rocks, loud noises, waving arms and aggressive yelling while maintaining eye contact.
      • Keep dogs on leash and under control at all times.
      • Create and maintain space. Give wildlife lots of room to avoid you, never crowd around them.
      • Do not stop to take pictures.
      • Never feed wildlife. Avoid food-conditioning wolves or coyotes by securing all food and garbage.
      • Prevent conflicts. Give all wild animals distance, not food. Avoid hiking alone. Keep children close.
      • Be predator aware. Understand and watch for wildlife warning signs.
      • Be informed and inform others of current information.
      • Be prepared for an encounter. Carry deterrents such as noise makers, sticks, or bear spray, and know how to use them. Respect all wildlife and their right to be here.
  • Encounters (If you are approached):
      • Make yourself look as large as possible – if sitting, stand for example.
      • Wave your arms and throw objects at the wolf or coyote.
      • Shout at the wolf or coyote in a loud aggressive voice.
      • If the wolf or coyote continues to approach don’t run or turn your back. Continue to exaggerate the above gestures and slowly move to safety.

More information on coyote and/or wolf sightings is available on the Government of BC website. Any aggressive coyote encounters can be reported to 1-877-952-7277.

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