Cindy Wade with her three dogs, a Karelian Bear Dog, an Australian Shepherd, and a Chihuahua mix. She was attacked on a popular Mission trail mid afternoon on April 25. / Submitted Photo

Cindy Wade with her three dogs, a Karelian Bear Dog, an Australian Shepherd, and a Chihuahua mix. She was attacked on a popular Mission trail mid afternoon on April 25. / Submitted Photo

Woman walking dogs attacked, stalked by pack of coyotes on Mission trail

Massive spike in coyote attacks reported in Lower Mainland over winter

A pack of coyotes attacked a woman hiking with her three dogs on April 25, before stalking her down the path until she could reach safety.

Cindy Wade said the “shocking” encounter has given her anxiety about trekking a trail that’s been a part of her routine for a decade. She said she worries it could happen to somebody else.

“I never saw it coming. I never heard it coming, ” Wade said. “The next thing I knew my feet were in the air I was just trying to figure out what had hit me.”

The incident is the latest in a massive spike of coyote attacks on humans over the winter, B.C. Conservation Service has previously told Black Press media. All of these attacks have been on runners and cyclists.

At approximately 3 p.m., April 25, Wade was walking Jacob’s Ladder Trail adjacent to Heritage Park when something slammed into the back of her knees, causing her to fall head over heels downhill.

The next thing she heard was her Australian Shepherd screeching, and seeing a “big blur of fur” as she got to her feet. Wade’s fall had been partially broken by her large Karelian Bear Dog, which then chased off the attacker into the woods behind them.

She said she heard crackling in the bushes to her left, and caught a glimpse of brown ears peaking above the foliage.

When Wade turned around, she was face-to-face with the head coyote again, which had circled back and stood elevated on the hill she had just tumbled down.

She said it was three feet away from them, and big.

Wade said she initially turned to run, but stopped herself, instead opting to stare down the large coyote while walking backwards until she could reach an exit. The wild dogs followed.

“I just kept screaming, “No! No! No!” and yelling and putting out my arms – he didn’t seem to care,” she said. “I could hear the other ones right close to me in the bush walking.”

The tense standoff lasted for 10 minutes, Wade estimates, until she ran into another group on the trail, who escorted her to her van.

B.C. Conservation Service has confirmed the report, and said an officer investigated the area shortly after the attack, but no trace of the animals could be found.

“We’re monitoring the area very closely,” said Sgt. Todd Hunter. “It is relatively rare … but it does happen from time to time.”

Hunter said they haven’t been alerted to similar encounters in the area which would indicate any escalation, but that the service is taking the incident seriously.

He said they’re alerting people to be cautious in the area, and report any further incidents immediately. Signs will be installed if further reports are made in the next few weeks.

Generally, the BC Conservation Service’s response is dictated by circumstance, not pre-judged reactions, Hunter said, but added they won’t “jeopardize safety.”

“We don’t really have an ability to relocate coyotes back into the environment, especially if they’re in a conflict where someone’s hurt,” he said. “(But) we’re not going around wantonly eliminating wildlife.”

Hunter said it’s a peak time of year for human-wildlife interactions, and they are seeing an increase in encounters as more people go outside and the weather warms.

A variety of factors could explain Sunday’s incident, but easy food sources in the community are a big concern as it can cause abnormal behaviours in coyotes, according to Hunter.

“People are leaving things out … They are actually diminishing the public safety in the area,” Hunter said. “Those types of habituated coyotes are the most dangerous.”

People hiking in wooded areas need to be prepared for potential wildlife encounters, travel in pairs, make noise, and follow municipality’s rules around dog leashes, according to Hunter. He said that prevention is the best response.

“I’m not saying this is the case in this situation, but we are recommending those things,” he said. “In this case, the person was yelling, and she put fear into the coyotes and they ran off. That’s exactly some of the type of stuff that we want people to do.”

Wade said the behaviour seemed territorial to her, and they may have thought she and her dogs were another pack. She said they had passed two teenage boys, just prior to the encounter.

“I grew up on a farm, and I’m used to little tiny brown coyotes. I’ve never been worried,” Wade said. “I was just always under the assumption if I left them alone, they’d leave me alone.”

MissionWildlife

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

better

Image by RENE RAUSCHENBERGER from Pixabay

Just Posted

Red dot shows location where fisherman was rescued by boater on Friday, May 7, 2021. Other fisher still missing presumed drowned after boat swamped on Fraser River near Vedder/Sumas confluence. Rescued man swam to shore after boat sank, while friend is still classified as missing as of May 10. (City of Chilliwack map)
Fisherman still missing after boat flipped on the Fraser River

One man made it out, other still missing, after anchor got snagged in the Fraser near Chilliwack

Corina Rochon has been working the front lines of the pandemic in the intensive care unit at Abbotsford Regional Hospital. She is also an instructor in the nursing program at University of the Fraser Valley.
Pandemic the most challenging of Abbotsford nurse’s 16-year career

Corina Rochon works front lines at Abbotsford Regional Hospital

Joan Septembre went for a weekend hike at Lindeman Lake, parking next to a vehicle that had two windows smashed in. (submitted photo)
Thieves active at Lindeman Lake and other parking spots along Chilliwack Lake Road

The hiking community is lamenting an uptick in car theft and vandalism as the weather gets nicer

Dario Lopez comes to the Cascades from Madrid, Spain where he played in very competitive junior leagues. (Dan Kinvig/UFV Athletics)
UFV Cascades sign Spanish basketball talent

High-scoring forward Dario Lopez joins team for 2021-22 season

Coho smolts. (Tanis Grower photo)
OPINION: A giant, invisible problem for Fraser salmon and how to fix it

‘Successful examples of salmon-friendly flood control can already be found throughout the Lower Mainland’

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Dr. Victoria Lee, CEO of Fraser Health, hosts an update on efforts to contain B.C.’s COVID-19 transmission in Surrey and the Fraser Valley and protect hospitals in the Lower Mainland, May 6, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate slowing, 20 more people die

Deaths include two people in their 40s, two in their 50s

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are in the Comox Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Suspected bird strike on Snowbirds plane during training in B.C.

Pilot followed protocols and landed the aircraft on the ground without any problems

BCIT. (Wikimedia Commons)
BCIT apologizes after employee’s ‘offensive and hurtful’ email leaked to Métis Nation

BCIT says employee’s conduct has been investigated and addressed

An adult male yellow-breasted chat is shown in this undatd photograph on lands protected in collaboration between the En’owkin Centre and Penticton Indian Band with support through ECCC. The rescue from near extinction for a little yellow bird hinges on the wild rose in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, a researcher says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, A. Michael Bezener/ En’owkin Centre 2020 *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Rare yellow birds need wild roses to survive in British Columbia: researcher

The importance of local wild roses emerged over a nearly 20-year experiment

RCMP officers search around rows of luggage carts as screens block off an area of the sidewalk after a shooting outside the international departures terminal at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Police say gang conflict in Metro Vancouver may be behind shooting death at airport

Police said this generation of gangsters is taking things to new level and have no regard for community safety

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Most Read