Thursday, 2 Feb 2023

Conservation officers investigate report of coyote chasing children in Mount Pleasant

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service (COS) says it was called to a central Vancouver neighbourhood on Wednesday, after someone reported a coyote chasing children.

Conservation officer Lonnie Schoenthal said the COS was called to the area of Main Street and 14th Avenue by the Vancouver Police Department (VPD).

“A citizen in the neighbourhood waved down the officer and advised him that he had seen the coyote chasing children,” Schoenthal said.

By the time the COS arrived, however, the coyote had run into a yard, and Schoenthal was unable to locate it.

“I did continue to patrol the neighbourhood for another two hours and there was no other coyotes in sight or follow-up reports,” he said.

The aggressive coyote incident was reported through the Stanley Park Ecology Society’s Coyote Sighting Map.

“The report that the VPD officer did receive unfortunately did not get any details and we were unable to follow up to further qualify and find out a description of a the coyote and the children being chased in the area.”

Schoenthal said while the animal remains at large, his larger priority now is on public education.

He said any time people see a coyote they should try and scare it away, regardless of its behaviour. People should make themselves look larger by raising their hands over their heads, or if they have children or pets at hand, pick them up.

“Typically when coyotes start approaching people it usually relates to someone who has been hand-feeding the coyote in the area,” he said.

“Coyotes are very timid animals, they don’t want conflict with us, just like we don’t want conflict with them.”

According to the BC SPCA, there are an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 urban coyotes in the Metro Vancouver area, a population that has grown rapidly since the 1980s.

Anyone who does make a coyote sighting or have a coyote encounter can report it through the Stanley Park Ecology Society’s Coyote Sightings Map.

Incidents can also be reported through the BC RAPP (Report All Poachers and Polluters) line.

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