How to stay safe around a coyote. Step 1: don’t run away
It’s rare for a coyote to attack a human.
“They’re really trying to avoid us,” said Greg Hart with the Stanley Park Ecology Society.
“So much so they’ve switched to being nocturnal, and if they’re out at night eating rats, people don’t have an issue with them.”
WATCH: Mom of boy attacked by coyote speaks out
There are about 200 coyotes in the Vancouver area and 2,000 in the Lower Mainland.
And in the wake of an attack on a three-year-old boy that left him needing more than 100 stitches, it’s an important time to remind oneself of how to stay safe around these animals.
The best way to keep coyotes away from humans is to put food away.
Keep garbage secured and rid yourself of bird feeders. Spilled feed attracts rodents, which make up 40 to 60 percent of the coyote diet.
Also — don’t feed coyotes. That makes them accustomed to humans.
If you happen to cross paths with a coyote, Hart has advised you to make noise and make yourself bigger than the animal.
Back away slowly and don’t run.
An East Vancouver community has created a text alert system — a first for the region.
Judith Webster is part of the Vanyotes text alert group.
“We are trying to avert tragedies,” she said. “Trying to get the news out in real time when there’s a coyote in the neighbourhood.”
When a coyote is seen in the area, a text is sent out saying where the animal was spotted.
The group is inviting more members to join them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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