Ongoing investigation into coyote trap interference in Stanley Park

The Ministry of Forestry says there is an investigation into interference with the use of leg restraint traps to catch coyotes in Stanley Park

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An investigation has been launched into reports of interference with the leg restraint traps used in the recent Stanley Park coyote cull.


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The sacrifice resulted in the euthanasia of four coyotes, far fewer than a previous estimate that up to 35 could be caught and killed.

The director of an organization that protects animals with fur said the provincial government’s “huge overestimation” of the number of coyotes in Stanley Park undermines public confidence.

“The (Conservation Officer Service) is investigating alleged trapping interference in the park,” the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development said by email.

“Since the investigation is ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

The Conservation Officials Service confirmed on Monday that the investigation was continuing, but gave no further details.


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Last week, the service announced that two people had been arrested and a vehicle seized in connection with feeding coyotes in the park.

The arrests came the day Stanley Park was reopened to the public after a two-week massacre closed all trails and the entire park closed from 7 p.m. to 9 a.m. every day.

The Ministry of Forests does not make anyone available to speak officially about coyotes. Only respond to questions sent by email.

The ministry was asked why only four coyotes died in the sacrifice.

“The frequency of attacks and aggression displayed in incidents over the past year led to a higher estimate of the coyote population density within the park,” the ministry said. “However, our camera monitoring evidence supports that, in fact, it was a small group of very aggressive coyotes.”


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The ministry said some coyotes were seen around the traps, but did not approach them.

“It is difficult to say whether this was the result of a specific aversion to cheating or a general precaution,” the ministry statement said.

Service Conservation Officer Insp. Drew Milne speaks at a press conference inside Stanley Park in Vancouver, BC, September 1, 2021.
Service Conservation Officer Insp. Drew Milne speaks at a press conference inside Stanley Park in Vancouver, BC, September 1, 2021. Photo by Arlen Redekop /PNG

Coyotes have been described by one coyote expert as cunning, intelligent, and extremely difficult to catch.

The four coyotes were caught with traps to hold the “soft catch” legs. These are described as having “a spring-loaded D-clamp with a soft-closing mechanism that closes when the animal applies pressure.”

The Forest Ministry said the traps minimize the risk of pain to the animal. He said the trap can “be closed on a human hand with minimal discomfort and no injury.”

Some animals, besides coyotes, got caught in the traps.


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“All were released quickly and without injury,” the ministry said.

There have been 45 coyote attacks on humans in Stanley Park since last December. In all, 11 coyotes have been euthanized, including seven before the organized cull.

Lesley Fox, Executive Director of The bearers of skins, said there was a “huge overestimate” of the size of the coyote population in Stanley Park.

“The reason that matters is that it undermines public confidence because it suggests incompetence,” he said. “So the message really is: ‘We don’t know how many coyotes are in Stanley Park.’

The Vancouver Park Board voted Monday to introduce a $ 500 fine for anyone caught feeding wild animals in Stanley Park and other city parks. The statute amendment would allow park rangers and police to issue $ 500 fines for feeding animals ranging from coyotes and squirrels to crows and geese.

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