Trappers to cull up to 35 coyotes in Vancouver's Stanley Park | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Trappers to cull up to 35 coyotes in Vancouver's Stanley Park

Coyotes are quite capable of ripping cats apart in such a way that it looks like they were cut with a sharp implement.
Image Credit:
September 04, 2021 - 11:50 AM

The Ministry of Forests is stepping up its response to the frequent coyote attacks happening in Vancouver’s Stanley Park.

The number of coyote attacks has been steadily rising for months. Previously, the public was asked not to feed the coyotes and conservation officers culled seven of them.

“However, these actions have not been enough to ensure public safety in the park and stronger measures will now be taken,” the ministry said in a media release.

The ministry’s next move is to trap and euthanize as many as 35 coyotes in a two-week period.

"The total number will be highly dependent on the numbers of animals within the park, trapping success, and the reduction of aggressive interactions."

READ MORE: Two children involved in latest coyote attacks in Vancouver's Stanley Park

Controlling wildlife in an urban park is complicated, the press release said, so it requires a very involved undertaking.

Trappers will be contracted by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. They will active live-capture traps between 7 p.m. and 9 a.m. daily and much of the park will be fenced up to keep the public out. Ten rangers with Vancouver Parks will be on nightly patrol to enforce the closure and deter interference with traps.

Many parts of Stanley Park in Vancouver are fenced off to prevent the public from encountering coyotes and interfering with active traps.
Many parts of Stanley Park in Vancouver are fenced off to prevent the public from encountering coyotes and interfering with active traps.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK

The ministry said the captured animals will be euthanized humanely.  After reviewing the final results, it will look for a long-term solution that will prevent the coyote population from returning to its current levels.

The idea of relocating the coyotes was considered, but not deemed possible because “the coyote population is highly food conditioned and human-habituated” and “the number and severity of the attacks indicates this conditioning is widely spread through the local population.”

Furthermore, the survival rate is low, and “coyote relocation is difficult even without these factors. Coyotes are highly territorial and would be in direct conflict with whatever local population they were introduced to.”

Culling the coyotes wasn’t the province’s first choice, the press release said, as “considerable effort” was put into finding other alternatives.

READ MORE: Unlike Stanley Park, coyotes don't seem to be getting more aggressive in the Okanagan

After the coyotes have been culled, the Stanley Park Ecology Society will continue its advocation to addressing the coyote problem at its source.

"It is with heavy hearts that we write this today..." reads its press release. 

The society agrees coyotes cannot be relocated or rehabilitated.

"In the wake of the cull, coyotes will re-populate (Stanley Park) over time."

The society said it has improved and increased signage about wildlife feeding, increased enforcement against feeding and illegal activities and it has a pilot project underway to install wildlife proof garbage bins.

"SPES staff and volunteers will continue to support UBC research via wildlife cameras and encourage a tagging program to record coyote behaviours and identify individual coyotes."

Stanley Park in Vancouver
Stanley Park in Vancouver

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dan Walton or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2021

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