Lawyer 'very surprised' no one has sued over coyote attacks in Stanley Park
VANCOUVER - An animal activist and attorney is urging the Vancouver Park Board and the City of Vancouver to change their strategy in dealing with the never-ending series of attacks by coyotes in Stanley Park.
“I’m sitting here today very surprised no one has actually sued,” said lawyer Rebeka Breder.
She argued killing coyotes isn’t the solution, given that six animals have already been destroyed in the area, and yet there continues to be attacks. A senior is the latest victim, bitten Tuesday night near Second Beach. Less than 24 hours earlier, two friends were mauled.
“The City of Vancouver and the park board specifically are opening themselves up to liability, and a claim in negligence by using a Band-Aid solution,” Breder said.
The executive director of animal rights group The Fur-Bearers admitted to CTV News there have been so many encounters with coyotes, she’s lost track.
“Why hasn’t this park been closed?” Lesley Fox asked with disbelief.
She has long urged the park board to put up more signs to warn the public and tourists about the dangers. Recently, the mother of a five-year-old boy who was attacked on Aug. 10 said she was alarmed by the lack of signage.
“If I were a parks commissioner, I would be extremely concerned about the potential for legal recourse,” said Fox, who has also been pushing for more animal-proof garbage cans, and fines for those who disobey park rules.
Any potential suit would need to prove there was a duty of care, and a breach of a standard of care that caused the damage.
“There is absolutely no doubt in my mind, that the Vancouver Park Board owes a duty of care to the users of the park to ensure that the park is safe,” said Breder.
St. John Alexander
Published Aug. 18, 2021 7:28 p.m. PDT