Woman bitten by coyote in Stanley Park faces months of recovery

·2 min read
Azi Ramezani was attacked by a coyote in Stanley Park on Jan. 21, 2021. (CBC News - image credit)
Azi Ramezani was attacked by a coyote in Stanley Park on Jan. 21, 2021. (CBC News - image credit)

WARNING: This story contains a graphic image.

A jogger who was attacked by a coyote in Vancouver's Stanley Park earlier this year says it will take her six months to recover from her injuries.

Azi Ramezani was bitten on the leg on Jan. 21 as she ran near the Hollow Tree in the early evening. She told CBC News she heard the coyote growling before it sank its teeth into her right leg.

"When the animal bites you … the teeth go deep into your skin. You hurt, and it's very likely that you'll fall," Ramezani said.

As she fell, her hamstring detached. She's required surgery for her injuries.

"I can't sit, I can't walk. All I can do is stand," Ramezani said.

Since the attack, she's lost her job and moved in with her family in Victoria until she's healthy again.

Ramezani is one of at least 15 people who've been bitten or attacked by coyotes in Stanley Park in recent months. Runners and people moving quickly are the common targets.

About a dozen coyotes live in the park, and conservation officers have warned that some have become aggressive and bold because they've been fed by humans. Two of the animals were captured and killed by conservation officers in late January.

Azi Ramezani required surgery after she was bitten on the leg by a coyote in Stanley Park.
Azi Ramezani required surgery after she was bitten on the leg by a coyote in Stanley Park.(Azi Ramezani)

Ramezani doesn't want to see any more animals killed, but she'd like to see the park shut down temporarily while officials figure out how to manage the problem.

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service says that isn't going to happen, but they're asking runners to avoid the park for now and for everyone to stop feeding the coyotes.

Dannie Piezas, urban wildlife programs coordinator at the Stanley Park Ecology Society, said a process called hazing is being used to scare the animals in the hope that humans and coyotes can once again coexist peacefully in the park.

"You can use noisemakers. A whistle is easy enough to carry around with you, but I do suggest something that is more banging," she said.