According to conservation officials, the aggressive coyotes may have “ingested toxins or drugs, possibly opioids.”
“There’s also some indication of possible abuse of these animals,” says coyote expert Shelley Alexander, a University of Calgary professor. Alexander is speaking out in order to keep Vancouver residents safe from further bizarre attacks.
In her latest interview, Professor Alexander speaks with CTV Morning Live at length on the “abnormal” nature and number of Vancouver’s coyote attacks.
Thursday, media outlets were alerted by conservation officers that the city’s Stanley Park has hosted three coyote attacks within just four days. This, as you can imagine, is unprecedented for nearly any territory on earth. As such, Alexander thinks there may be much more going on here.
“The Stanley Park issue is more complicated than normal situations,” she says. “There’s always a constellation of events that lead to these… No one is the key cause here.”
In the latest Stanley Park incident, officers say a man walking near the park’s golf course was bitten by a coyote. The wild canine took hold of the unidentified man’s leg late last week, according to CTV News.
Before this, coyote attacks took place back-to-back on August 10 and 11. The victims in these instances were a woman and a child.
The August 10 attack, which began the string of incidents, saw British Colombia’s Conservation Officer Center “investigating after a 5-year-old boy was attacked by a coyote in Stanley Park,” per Outsider’s initial coverage of the incident.
“During a family walk at Prospect Point at approx. 9:30 p.m., the boy was running ahead when a coyote lunged and bit him on the leg,” the report continues.
‘Stanley Park has Become a Hotbed for Bizarre Coyote Behavior’
These attacks come on top of dozens of other aggressive coyote encounters in recent months. In short: Stanley Park has become a hotbed for bizarre coyote behavior.
“This is abnormal behavior that we’re seeing, but the key thing is here they’ve lost their bite inhibition, and so this is no longer a situation that you could consider a co-existence scenario,” Professor Alexander says of the puzzling flare-up.
Alexander has been studying the coyotes of Stanley Park for over 25 years. She’s an authority on their behavior, and as such still cannot believe what she’s seeing and hearing.
To this end, she strongly believes the canines have “ingested toxins or drugs, possibly opioids.”
Another scenario involves the “possible abuse of these animals,” which Alexander says she sees “indication of.” Both possibilities, she believes, could be a result of the increasing local homeless population in coyote habitat.
Alongside conservation experts, Alexander recommends yelling and waving your arms in the air to ward off coyotes. Use any object at your disposal to scare the wild predators off, and make as much loud noise as possible. Visitors to Vancouver’s Stanley Park should exercise extra caution. Do not walk or use the park at night, officials say.