A Richmondite was chased by a coyote in broad daylight along River Road near the North Arm of the Fraser River.
On Saturday afternoon, Lei Kazemi was on their way home from work as usual on their electric bike.
The ride was uneventful until they got to River Road near McCallan Road.
That’s where they saw what they thought was a dog standing in the middle of the road.
Kazimi worried the “puppy” could get hit by a car, so tried to get closer to coax it off the road.
That’s when Kazemi suddenly realized the “pup” was in fact a coyote.
Kazemi said they took a picture of it with the intention of reporting the coyote sighting to authorities. The coyote, however, appeared to have other plans and started chasing Kazemi, who quickly jumped on their bike and sped out of there.
“I was, like, full-speed biking with this coyote running after me. I think it got really tired and so it eventually stopped and ran away.
“I was pretty scared at the time, but now, thinking back, I am, like, it would have probably been fine because I think it seemed like a puppy and was just hanging out,” said Kazemi.
Kazemi posted their encounter on the Richmond Rants and Raves Facebook page to alert pet owners and others in the area.
“You are not going to see coyotes in Richmond’s city centre, but there are a lot of them near the Tera Nova area,” said Kazemi, adding that they felt relieved the encounter didn’t turn into an attack.
The Lower Mainland is home to an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 urban coyotes, according to BCSPCA’s website.
“Coyotes are smart, social and playful, but they have a bad reputation for killing pets and small animals. This is the same trait that makes them important to our ecosystem, as a scavenger and major rodent predator,” read the website.
A spokesperson for WildSafe BC, a provincial organization that aims to provide education on reducing conflicts with wildlife, said when people are running or riding, they may trigger a chase response in predators. Here are some suggestions:
· Make yourself appear large, maintain eye contact, and speak in a low firm voice or shout
· Pick up small pets and children immediately; older children should stay close and not try to run away
· Wave your arms and if you have a walking stick or gardening implements such as a rake or shovel, be prepared to use it as a weapon against the coyote
· Throw rocks, sticks or other objects in the animal’s vicinity
· If the coyote continues to approach, do not run or turn your back on it, continue looking large and making noise while you slowly retreat. Move towards more people or into your home or vehicle
· If the coyote attacks, deliver a series of blows either with your feet or a sturdy stick at the animal’s ribs and stomach
· Bear spray can also be used in the event of an attack
· Report the encounter to the Conservation Officer Service 1-877-952-7277.