Two Lower Mainland residents were arrested and had their vehicle seized after allegedly feeding coyotes in Stanley Park on Tuesday, the BC Conservation Officer Service said.
The service released few details about the incident, but noted that the feeding of coyotes creates a public safety risk.
Tuesday was the same day the park fully reopened to the public, marking the end of an effort by B.C.’s forestry ministry to reduce the coyote population there after several people were attacked in recent months.
Four coyotes were captured and “lethally removed” in a trapping initiative earlier this month. Seven had been previously removed, and the remaining animals are not anticipated to cause any problems, the ministry said.
The conservation officer service initially planned to cull as many as 35 coyotes.
Meanwhile, Vancouver Park Board staff are reviewing bylaws to clarify and update municipal park restrictions regarding feeding wildlife. Crews have also installed “wildlife-proof” garbage bins as a pilot program.
The park board has said it believes the risk to the public has been addressed, but that people should continue to exercise caution.
“There are coyotes still in the park,” Amit Gandha, Vancouver’s acting director of parks, told Global News. “It’s a very (limited) number, but the ones that are left in the park didn’t display the similar habits or challenges the other ones raised.”
– With files from Elizabeth McSheffrey