B.C. conservation officers have closed trails near Brockton Oval in Stanley Park, and are asking people to avoid the area as they search for an aggressive coyote.
Conservation Officer Service Sgt. Simon Gravel said officials have received five reports of attacks in the area since Dec. 20.
Gravel said the coyote reportedly chased joggers in each case, biting them on the calves. Some runners had superficial injuries, while others required medical treatment, he said.
“The situation escalated, so it led to us to close some areas and do more public outreach about the situation,” he said.
“We’re asking the public to avoid this specific area, to respect the trail closures until we’re done.”
Officials suspect the coyote became habituated to humans after people fed it.
Because it no longer fears humans and has become aggressive, the animal will have to be put down, he said.
“It is human caused, and it is totally avoidable,” he said.
Conservation officers have been in the area for several days, and will remain on site until they locate the coyote, Gravel said.
Anyone who does encounter an coyote is advised to make themselves appear large and not approach it.
Feeding a coyote is illegal under B.C. law, Gravel added.