Baby coyotes are cute. The aggressive coyote parents? Not so much.
With numerous accounts of coyote attacks at Stanley Park, with one incident sending three to hospital last year, the Vancouver Park Board is reminding the public that coyotes are even less friendly during denning season.
Springtime is when litters of cute coyote pups are born, and also when parent coyotes start behaving more aggressively to protect their babies. This can look like "escorting" people and pets away from dens and acting more defensively if they perceive a threat.
Trails in the park will be closed during denning season. On May 4, the Park Board indicated it would be closing Reservoir Trail and parts of Eagle and Hanson trails as a precaution.
The Park Board is asking people to not intentionally leave food on the ground or offer food to coyotes, to respect trail closures as there may be a denning coyote family in the area, and to keep pets leashed at all times.
Feeding wildlife, coyotes included, can cost a fine of $500.
In case of an encounter with a coyote, back away slowly but do not turn your back and run, as coyotes will instinctively chase after you, cautions the Park Board. If the coyote starts to act aggressively, stand tall and yell.
The Park Board is also asking to report instances of aggressive coyotes, people feeding coyotes, a pet or human coming into physical contact with a coyote, as well as a dead, injured or distressed coyote to the Provincial Report All Poachers and Polluters line at 877-952-7277.