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Vigil for Stanley Park coyotes held in Vancouver on Wednesday

It's an attempt to stop any further culling of coyotes in Stanley Park. Emily Lazatin is taking in a vigil outside the Vancouver Park Board as animal rights activists take a stand against the threat to the animals - as attacks continue to plague the park – Sep 15, 2021

A vigil for the coyotes at Stanley Park was held on Wednesday as the provincial government continues its cull on the animals.

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About a dozen people gathered outside the Vancouver Park Board office with signs reading “No more dead coyotes” to oppose the process.

Four coyotes have been trapped and killed so far. Initially, the forests ministry said up to 35 animals would be put down, but the final number may be lower than that.

People opposed to the cull say it is not the way to solve a problem that has been caused by people feeding the coyotes.

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“A lot of people feel like this is a failure, a human failure, and that we should have done a lot more to prevent this and we could have done a lot more to prevent this,” said former Vancouver Park Board commissioner Sarah Blyth, who helped organize Wednesday’s vigil.

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Opponents also say the way the animals are being trapped and killed is inhumane.

The ministry has said that other options were considered before euthanization, but non-lethal removal was not possible because the coyotes have become highly food-conditioned and comfortable around humans.

In addition, the number and severity of the attacks indicate this conditioning is widely spread through the park’s population, the ministry said.

Blyth said she has spoken to experts who suggested more time was needed to figure out a path forward.

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“They wanted to monitor the situation and take the time that was needed and there was a lot of pressure to just kill them when that might not have been the solution,” she said.

“I think giving the experts more time would have been, at the end of the day, the right thing to do because it’s a human problem. Humans created the problem, they should take the time that’s necessary to figure it out.”

The ministry said the animals will be removed from the traps and “humanely euthanized.”

A petition against the cull has collected nearly 20,000 signatures.

–With files from Amy Judd


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