Photo: The Province
Coyotes have taken to urban life.
Wildlife officers destroy coyote that bit girl, 12
The brazen coyote that bit a girl on the buttocks in Vancouver's Vanier Park has been gunned down by a conservation officer.
Provincial wildlife-control officer Dennis Pemble shot the nasty little nipper at about 7 a.m. Tuesday on the street in front of the Planetarium.
The bit signed the animal's death sentence, Pemble said.
"The girl was rolling around on the grass and the coyote ran up and bit her on the backside," he said.
The bit didn't break the skin, but the 12-year-old girl was terrified by the attack, which occurred just before the Easter weekend.
Pemble said the same coyote had chased a woman, who was clutching her dog to her bosom, right into the Maritime Museum.
"We're getting calls from people in the area who are saying they are afraid to go outside to walk their dogs," Pemble said.
There have been an unusually high complaints about coyotes this year, indicating an explosion in the urban coyote population.
Pemble said there was no point in trying to trap the coyote because the cagey canines won't go anywhere near a live trap.
Hitting them with a dart from a tranquilizer gun is virtually impossible.
And if hit, the dart would most likely kill the animals anyway.
"We really don't have much of a choice," said Pemble, who blamed people feeding the animal for its antics.
Pemble said the Easter weekend attack was only the second he remembers in recent years.
A couple of children were bitten by a coyote in Burnaby park three years ago. That animal was also shot and people had been feeding it.
Kristine Lampa of the Stanley Park Ecology Society said we are going to have to learn to live with coyotes as attempts to eliminate them in other urban areas, such as Los Angeles, have failed.
She's advising people not to feed coyotes, to yell at them when they get too brazen and to call 582-5200 if the coyote is threatening people or pets.
"Remember, a fed coyote is a dead coyote, because sooner or later it will have to be shot," said Lampa, who added, that a lean and hungry-looking coyote is not starving.
And a coyote that seems to want to play with your dog really has a more gruesome motive. "It wants to eat it," Lampa said.