Although the public has already been urged to stay away from Stanley Park due to a surge in coyote attacks, on Tuesday (Aug. 31) the Vancouver Park Board made it official.
The agency extended the overnight closure of Stanley Park that was originally meant to mitigate fire risk.
As of Tuesday, all non-essential access to the park is closed from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., including the seawall.
Park rangers will be present at four access points and turn away visitors deemed non-essential: traffic circle off Georgia Street, the corner of Barclay and Park Lane, the south exit of the Stanley Park Causeway (from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.) and the north exit of the causeway (from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.).
The overnight closure comes after three people were attacked by coyotes from Friday and Monday. All three of the attacks happened either early in the morning or late in the evening.
Park board general manager Donnie Rosa said that the organization is working with conservation officers, the province and the Stanley Park Ecology Society to stem the attacks.
“At this point, a number of options are on the table and our focus remains on removing attractants and influencing public behaviour to ensure direct and indirect feeding of coyotes and other wildlife comes to a stop,” Rosa said in a statement.
“In the last week alone we have removed 1,000 kgs of garbage from the park, secured animal-proof garbage cans that will be installed shortly, and printed 96 new signs to be installed at key locations where the majority of coyote incidents are taking place. We are asking the public to help us with this issue and to observe the park closures overnight, to stay off trails when visiting businesses in the park, and to report any feeding of wildlife.”
The park board said that anyone who encounters a coyote in the park should make themselves seem larger by facing the coyote, standing tall and having their arms stretched wide. They should also not run but speak loudly and make noise, but not scream.
To report aggressive behaviour or people feeding the coyotes, the public can call the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.