A West Vancouver citizen is asking the District of West Vancouver to spread awareness and provide more information about what residents can do about aggressive and seemingly fearless coyotes in the community.
The citizens said she had seen a marked increase in aggressive coyotes and wrote after one of her cats was killed by a coyote. What is concerning is that coyotes don’t seem to fear humans and are being seen more often in the community, especially in some parts of West Vancouver.
“Whenever I used to see them, they used to run away but they are no longer running away and I have seen them numerous times in the day time on busy roads. Twice in the last month, I have been out in the garden and a coyote has walked into the yard. When I have yelled, the coyote has made eye contact but didn’t back down so I came back into the home,” she said.
The citizen said she had been talking to her friends and neighbours in the North Shore and almost every person she talks to has a tale of coyotes coming into their backyards and cats disappearing that they believe have been taken by coyotes. One of her friends who lives in Upper Lonsdale told her about how a coyote dig under her back fence to get into the yard and she thinks her motivation may have been the squirrels at her bird feeder.
An assistant for a local veterinarian told her she believes coyote numbers were much larger in the Caulfield-West Bay area of West Vancouver and may be putting more competitive pressure on the coyotes as they hunt.
“We are also worried about the risk to young children with coyotes that keep coming into our residential yards. For us to have coyote come into our yard twice seems a bit too frequent. One dog walker said she wanted to poison the coyotes in her area—a horrible and inhuman thought but I think people are unnerved and heartbroken like me,” she said. The citizen is urging the district to be proactive and provide more information to the community on how to effectively deal with the proliferation and aggressiveness of the coyotes.
“Should we be taking down bird feeders and trapping rats when we have had coyotes in our yards? The traditional ‘shake of pennies’ to scare them seem to be of relatively little use when coyotes are so bold and I wonder if it’s safe to face off against such bold coyotes these days.”
A few months ago, another West Vancouver citizen wrote to the council urging it to take some action on the issue after her cats were killed by coyotes. “My wife called the Wildlife service but she was told they couldn’t register the report because we had not seen the wild animal. They were not interested in hearing about where we live and didn’t even take out address,” the citizen wrote.
Stanley Park Ecology Centre estimates there are about 2,000 to 3,000 coyotes in the Lower Mainland and they are naturally active during the day time. “You might think they are nocturnal, but they have adapted their behaviour in cities to avoid humans in the day time and will do most of their hunting and travelling at night or during twilight. Have you seen a coyote in the daytime? Please report it using our online report form, or call our info-line 604-681- WILD (9453), according to the centre.