The following letter was sent to all seven commissioners of the Vancouver Park Board on January 22, 2021.
Dear Vancouver Park Board Commissioners,
The Fur-Bearers is a non-partisan, charitable organization that seeks to advocate for fur-bearing animals in the wild and in confinement. In recent weeks, we have watched with sadness and distress the reports of negative interactions between visitors to the park and coyotes who call the park home, which as you know, has led to the killing of two coyotes.
All parties involved agree that the primary driver behind this change in coyote behaviour is both indirect and direct feeding of coyotes (and other wildlife) by people. The Fur-Bearers also understand that the City of Vancouver and Park Board are facing unprecedented pressures due the pandemic. However, without direct intervention by City and Park Board, more park visitors will come into conflict with wildlife, and the animals who call the park home will be killed. This cycle will continue endlessly until the root cause of the issue – feeding – is addressed effectively.
Currently, The Fur-Bearers would like to see the City and Park invest in:
- Highly visible, multilingual and graphic-based signage regarding feeding and the consequences to both those who feed, and to the animals (illness, death);
- Waste receptacles should be upgraded to be wildlife resistant;
- A commitment to actively enforcing by-laws related to feeding in the park.
Photos from the park indicate open garbage containers as well as limited signage on wildlife feeding and encounters on trails. This unfortunate cycle of negative conflict and the killing of native wildlife will continue without intervention and The Fur-Bearers would be pleased to offer our assistance however it may be possible. We look forward to hearing from you in the coming days regarding your plans to address these concerns, and will share your responses with our many Vancouver-area supporters.
Lesley Fox, Executive Director, The Fur-Bearers