VANCOUVER – The Stanley Park Ecology Society has issued a warning to Stanley Park visitors – don’t feed the coyotes in the park.
Staff say a “very comfortable” coyote has been seen in the daytime near the Beach Avenue entrance and they have received reports that it is being illegally fed by a few people. While the coyote has now shown any aggression to anyone yet, staff are 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 the Stanley Park Ecology Society.
Coyotes will quickly adapt to make use of other food sources like garbage, compost and even small dogs and cats if available. “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,” adds Straker.
He says anyone who encounters a coyote should 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 visit www.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.
© Shaw Media, 2014