Expert Fears Coyotes Have Ingested Drugs After Three Attacks In Four Days

Emily Brown

Published 

A coyote expert has suggested some of the animals in Vancouver may have ingested drugs after three people were attacked in just four days.

All three attacks took place in Stanley Park in Vancouver, Canada, with the most recent incident involving a man who was walking along a pathway in the park at around 9.00pm local time on Friday, August 13.

A statement from the BC Conservation Officer Service explained a coyote had bitten the man on the leg while he passed through the park, resulting in minor injuries.

The first attack took place just four days earlier on Tuesday, when a five-year-old child was targeted by a coyote and had to receive stitches in hospital. One day later, a woman was bitten on the leg while jogging on a trail in the park.

In the statement released after the third attack, cited by CTV News, conservation officers said the service ‘continues to strongly urge the public to stay out of Stanley Park.’

They added: ‘If you are in the park, use abundant caution, as there is a high risk of encountering an aggressive coyote – particularly during dawn or dusk hours, when coyotes tend to be more active.’

Having so many incidents in such quick succession is said to be ‘abnormal’, with Shelley Alexander, a University of Calgary professor and coyote expert, explaining there has likely been a ‘constellation of events’ that led to the attacks.

Coyote (Pixabay)Pixabay

Speaking to CTV Morning Live, she stressed ‘no one is the key cause here’, but said the reported behaviour of the coyotes suggests they could have ‘ingested toxins or drugs, possibly opioids.’

Alexander, who has studied wolves and coyotes for more than 25 years, went on to say there is ‘also some indication of possible abuse of these animals’.

The reason the animals may be more present in the park in the first place is likely down to increasing local homeless encampments, Alexander said, which have displaced the coyotes from their usual haunts and pushed them into areas where they are more likely to encounter humans.

She commented: ‘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.’

Conservation officers have also suggested that confrontations with coyotes may have increased due to people feeding the animals.

People who are still looking to visit the park have been reminded to stay vigilant, with tips to scare off the animals including shouting, putting your arms up and clapping your hands.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected].

Topics: Animals, Animal Attack, Canada, Vancouver

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CTV Morning Live
  1. CTV Morning Live

    CTV Vancouver

Emily Brown
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