Details released on plan to cull dozens of coyotes after attacks in Vancouver's Stanley Park
The province's plan to trap and kill dozens of coyotes in Vancouver's Stanley Park is underway, with one animal euthanized overnight.
The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development said in an emailed update Wednesday that program is underway following nearly four dozen attacks on humans in the popular park.
The stomach contents of the dead coyote will be preserved and analyzed to determine its diet. Additionally, the coyote will be tested for rabies during a series of disease and toxicology assessments.
The latest information from the ministry suggests there have been at least 45 attacks since last year, five of which involved children.
"By any measure, this is completely unacceptable," a ministry spokesperson said, adding that the number indicates the animals are highly food-conditioned, human-habituated and aggressive.
In this case, "relocation is not an option," the ministry said.
According to officials, coyotes are highly territorial, and conflict would ensue if they were moved somewhere else.
And so the coyote cull will go ahead, and soon.
Officials said non-lethal traps will be put in the park as soon as possible. The traps are described by the ministry as "modified foothold traps," which minimize the risk of any pain or damage to the trapped animal.
These traps will be put in place and monitored by licenced and trained trappers – contractors who have permits under the Wildlife Act to take on the work. The traps are being monitored continuously by a camera system to limit the time an animal is stuck.
Once trapped, the coyotes will be humanely euthanized by a provincial wildlife officer. B.C.'s Conservation Officer Service is not involved in the operation.
The program is expected to take two weeks, the ministry said.
The cull of dozens of animals was not the province's first choice, but comes "after considerable effort into finding other alternatives to prevent the incident," according to the ministry.
Longer-term plans will also be put in place which will address human behaviour.
The hope is that the cull will "reset" the environment, allowing for a sustainable co-existence.