In March of last year, in Burnaby, B.C., a toddler was attacked by a coyote. The three year old was playing in his backyard when his mother heard him screaming. She saw the coyote chewing on his head. The boy was rushed to the children’s hospital. “Ayden had gashes on his head and neck, puncture wounds and scratches all over his body and was covered in blood” said the mother. He required nearly 150 stitches.
Canada’s has a lot of natural beauty, including its wildlife such as sea lions, racoons, beavers, black bears, Canadian geese and coyotes. But living with that wildlife and encroaching on its territory brings risk. There are many of coyotes near the Metro Vancouver area. On many nights, you can hear groups of coyotes gathered together howling. Although in most cases, by responding to them appropriately, coyotes are fairly harmless coexisting with humans.
24 hours after the coyote incident in Burnaby, another encounter occurred in North Vancouver between a coyote and a dog. The coyote attacked the dog near grouse mountain and the dog’s walker had to intervene and punch the coyote off to save the dog’s life. According to Vancouver’s coyote sightings map, more animals, especially pets, are followed or attacked by coyotes than human are.
When the danger occurs associating with wildlife such as coyotes and black bear the animals are destroyed. The B.C. conservation service officials said the coyote which attacked the toddler was fearless when they encountered, they soon tracked down and killed the dangerous animal.
To learn to coexist with wild animals like coyotes, it is best to learn how to react when seeing them. You can report online by using the Vancouver sight report form or call the coyote info line 604-681-WILD/9453. To scare off the coyote, make loud noises you can yell, act large and tough you can wave a stick or your jacket, throw a rock near it but not directly on the coyote, maintain eye contact, hold kids and smaller pets, if there are any around, and slowly back up but do not run. Avoid feeding coyotes and getting comfortable, once they start feeling completely safe with people, it could be a potential danger for the whole society.
If we do not coexist peacefully with the animals, “It is only a matter of time before aggressive coyotes behave badly and will have to be destroyed,” says the Stanley park ecology society.
Image: Marc van der Chijs