Hours of overnight closure in Vancouver's Stanley Park changing due to further coyote attacks
The Vancouver Park Board is taking the drastic measure of closing Stanley Park to the public overnight to try and prevent coyote attacks.
In July, the park board announced an overnight closure in the park because of the risk of fires. All non-essential access to the park was barred between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. On Tuesday, a new measure was announced to manage coyote attacks in the park instead with the park closing from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Donnie Rosa, park board manager, said the extended closing hours will be in place for “a couple of weeks” to try and get the situation under control.
There have been multiple reports of coyotes attacking children, seniors, runners and pets in the park. Most recently, there were three attacks in a 72-hour period and many of the recent attacks happened around dusk.
Six coyotes have been destroyed by conservation officers since January, but Rosa said people are still feeding animals.
"We've heard reports of folks bringing in raw chicken, cat food, bird seed, and doing it just to get pictures," Rosa said. "We're really trying to ramp up that education and awareness, but also the reporting of that. So if folks see somebody doing that, they need to call the 24-hour hotline."
Similar to the closure because of fire risk, park rangers will set up overnight access points at four locations as a way to reduce the number of people in the park overnight. Vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians and anyone else who doesn't need to be there will be turned around at these points, the park board said.
But some will still be able to pass through the park.
The measures will allow for patrons and staff to get to businesses located within its 405 hectares. Passengers of TransLink's #19 bus will be able to access the route, and emergency services staff will be let through control points.
The Stanley Park Causeway will stay open, but access to the seawall will be closed.
Additionally, anyone who stays in the park after the closure is in place will be allowed out through those points.
Anyone reporting aggressive coyote behaviour or wildlife feeding should call the Report All Poachers and Polluters line at 1-877-952-7277.
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Kendra Mangione and Alissa Thibault