Conservation officers euthanize 4 coyotes following attack on toddler in Vancouver

Conservation officers have euthanized four coyotes in Vancouver's Stanley Park, including one that was captured in "very close proximity" to the scene of a recent attack on a toddler.

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service said the four animals were caught and killed overnight and on Thursday morning.

"We're confident after the assessment that those coyotes were involved in some of (the) aggression towards humans, based on location, description of the animals and measurement," Sgt. Simon Gravel said at a news conference.

"All four of the coyotes captured were adults and healthy looking."

The coyotes' remains are being sent to the Abbotsford Animal Health Lab for necropsies, according to the BCCOS.

Despite the removal of those animals, there could be two more potentially dangerous coyotes still wandering Stanley Park. Earlier this week, conservation officers said they believed up to six of the animals have been involved in attacks on humans over recent months.

Authorities have received dozens of reports of incidents involving aggressive coyotes in the area since December.

Officers previously euthanized two of the animals back in January, but the attacks persisted.

Efforts to address the problem were ramped up again this week after a two-year-old girl was bitten by a coyote on Monday night. The child was treated in hospital for injures to her neck and face, but has since been released.

"Removing coyotes is really the last resort and something we do in a very special situation, where the public safety is really compromised," Gravel said.

Efforts are ongoing with park rangers, the City of Vancouver, wildlife biologists and others to determine what can be done to reduce the risk of coyote conflicts.

That work will include learning more about what prompted the coyotes to begin confronting humans in the first place.

"We don't have an explanation for everything," Gravel said. "We do have reason to believe feeding coyotes, for example, is a contributing factor – there may be other contributing factors and we're looking at every possibility."