Coyote attacks force early closure of Stanley Park

Click to play video: 'Vancouver Park Board asks public to stop feeding Stanley Park coyotes after recent spike in biting incidents'
Vancouver Park Board asks public to stop feeding Stanley Park coyotes after recent spike in biting incidents
The B.C. Conservation Service is urging people to stay out of Stanley Park -- unless visiting the aquarium or restaurants. Jennifer Palma reports on the rise in coyote attacks behind the warning and the other measures put in place to keep people safe – Aug 31, 2021

Three coyote attacks over a 72-hour period have forced the Vancouver Park Board to close Stanley Park even earlier in an effort to prevent more violent encounters.

The park will now shut down at 7 p.m. and will remain closed until 7 a.m.

Earlier in the summer, the park board closed the park between 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. to mitigate fire risk.

“It’s getting dark earlier, so we’re just putting a hard line at 7 p.m.,” Vancouver Park Board general manager Donnie Rosa said.

“People are still going in and feeding the animals. We need people to stop feeding the animals. We also know that these coyotes are now emboldened and they’re not afraid of people anymore. So this is why we need some time for people to stay off the trails.”

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Click to play video: 'Three more coyote attacks in Stanley Park'
Three more coyote attacks in Stanley Park

The latest incident happened at 5:30 a.m. Monday when a man near the Second Beach seawall was bitten on the leg.

Two other attacks happened on Friday.

One victim sent Global News photos after a coyote’s jaw locked around his leg near Lost Lagoon around 6:30 a.m. He needed a tetanus shot and antibiotics as a result.

A man walking along the Seawall near the Lions Gate Bridge was bitten later that night.

Click to play video: 'Conservation officers investigating 3 more coyote attacks'
Conservation officers investigating 3 more coyote attacks

Last week, organizers of the Vancouver Triathlon cancelled the run portion of the race through Stanley Park amid concerns about coyotes.

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There have been approximately 40 coyote attacks in the park since December 2020, including one in July involving a two-year-old girl.

In a statement to Global News, B.C.’s Ministry of Forests says it is working with the park board and B.C. Conservation Officer Service to “implement strategies to address human behaviour and availability of food and garbage.”

“These actions are essential to ‘reset’ the park environment for sustainable coexistence with coyotes in the long term.”

— With files from Simon Little and The Canadian Press

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