Tri-Cities residents and visitors are urged to keep their eyes open and their dogs leashed following more reports of aggressive coyotes in the region.
The BC Conservation Officer Service (BCCOS) confirmed to the Tri-City News no one was hurt or attacked from a pair of recent sightings in Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam.
One coyote was spotted in Mundy Park on Sunday (June 4) and other in the Gates Park on Monday (June 6).
The BCCOS said Coquitlam RCMP were called to the weekend encounter, but no injuries were reported.
In both cases, the service explained the animals were behaving aggressively towards people, but there was no physical contact with bystanders.
The sightings took place about a month after a two-year-old was attacked and bitten by an aggressive coyote in Lions Park in Port Coquitlam.
The child was taken to hospital and was treated for minor injuries after the incident was reported to Conservation Officers around 8 p.m. on May 10.
Coquitlam RCMP killed the coyote near the attack site, and an examination of the carcass showed evidence it had consumed non-natural food sources.
"The COS encourages the public to take precautions in case of coyote encounters, including leashing pets, travelling in groups and carrying bear spray," the service stated.
"The BCCOS cannot stress enough the importance of not feeding dangerous wildlife and will take enforcement action as warranted."
Tips on how to stay safe during an encounter include:
- Be big, brave and loud
- Scaring coyotes helps them retain a natural fear of people
- Never feed coyotes
- Coyotes that are fed by people can become bold and aggressive and may have to be destroyed
- Keep a secure lid on your garbage and compost, do not leave pet food outside and pick your tree fruit before it falls
- Pet safety
- Keep dogs on a leash and cats indoors, especially at night
- If the coyote does not run away or acts aggressively...
- Make eye contact and face the coyote, while slowly backing away
- Pick up small pets or young children
The BCCOS encourages anyone who witnesses a violation involving wildlife or environmental protection law to call the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) hotline at 1-877-952-7277.
You can also visit the human-wildlife conflict page of the B.C. government's website for more information.
- with files from Diane Strandberg, Tri-City News