The world watched as Vancouver’s Stanley Park became the site of dozens of negative encounters between coyotes and people. Numerous opportunities to mitigate significant factors and lead to coexistence were missed or rejected by decision makers. Following these failures to act, governments resorted to trapping (via leg-hold traps) and killing coyotes in the park. We will discuss media sensationalism and communication failures, lessons learned, potential legal liability and legal issues, and ways to prevent such a tragedy in the future.
We will also discuss the precedent-setting case of R. v. Stevikova, where a Whistler woman was fined over $60,000 for feeding bears on her property. To date, this is the highest fine ever given under the Wildlife Act for feeding wildlife. Is this a green light for judges to take potential and actual harm to wildlife very seriously?