A very comfortable coyote has been seen out in the daytime near the Beach Avenue entrance to Stanley Park by hundreds of park goers in recent weeks.
The Stanley Park Ecology Society have received reports that it is being illegally fed by a few individuals, and while the coyote has not shown any aggression to people yet, the Stanley Park Ecology Society is concerned.
“It is crucial that this coyote find its own food for its own health and safety and the safety of people and their pets,” says Dan Straker, Urban Wildlife Programs Coordinator with Stanley Park Ecology Society.
“Coyotes are normally very timid animals, but when human-food is involved they learn to be more comfortable around people and that can lead to conflicts.”
There is no shortage of food for coyotes in the city, small rodents make up three quarters of their diet in urban environments. However, coyotes will quickly adapt to make use of other food sources like garbage, compost and even small dogs and cats if available.
Straker encourages anyone that encounters any coyote to put their arms over their head and yell “Go Away Coyote,” to both scare it and alert other people in the area. Scaring it also helps to alter its behaviour to spend less time near people, making it less susceptible to feeding.
Dog walkers are also advised to keep their dogs on leash, and to use a “Coyote Shaker”, a pop-can filled with a few pennies or pebbles, which makes a loud noise to help scare the coyote away.
Feeding coyotes is a punishable offense under the provincial wildlife act and is against park bylaws. For more information about how to co-exist with coyotes and to report sightings and instances of feeding visi twww.stanleyparkecology.ca or call 604-681-WILD (9453). If a coyote acts aggressively towards you, please call the Ministry of Environment at 1-877-952-7277.
Featured Image: Coyotes via shutterstock