Death of Vancouver coyote lays in hands of those who fed him

Tracy Riddell coyote
A coyote was killed by conservation officers in Vancouver last weekend. While it’s often easy to point the fingers at COs for the deaths of wild animals, in this case the perpetrators are clear: those who fed the coyote.

In almost every single case of coyote conflict investigated by The Fur-Bearers or other conflict managers with groups like Coyote Watch Canada or The Stanley Park Ecology Society, a food source was the focal point of the conflict. By either intentionally or unintentionally feeding coyotes, residents can alter the behaviours of our nation’s wild canids. What’s wrong with this?

When proximity tolerance is increased – that is, the coyotes’ comfort around people and human structures – the potential for conflict vastly increases, as well. While we preach compassion and the use of tools such as hazing to again lower proximity tolerance, government officials are pressured to react when perceived danger appears.

"We are very aware of the situation and we're very concerned as well," said The Stanley Park Ecology Society’s Dan Straker in a CBC interview. "We know that this is not normal coyote behaviour, this is the kind of behaviourwe see when a coyote has been fed by people and it becoming much too comfortable."

Unfortunately, the message we all work to pass on – don’t feed the wildlife – was either not heard, or was ignored by residents in this Vancouver neighbourhood. As a result, a beautiful, sentient creature is dead.

We will be reviewing the events that led to the death of this coyote, and creating a plan to ensure that it does not happen again. With your help, we can safely live with wildlife in Vancouver – and across Canada.

Photo by Tracy Riddell Photography

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Established in 1953, The Fur-Bearers is a charitable, non-partisan organization whose goals are to end the commercial fur trade and promote solutions for wildlife coexistence in communities. Your donation is tax-deductible. Charitable registration number: 130006125RR0002

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