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Raccoons, Coyotes and Bears--Oh My!

September 19th, 2014 | by admin admin | in Safety Advice |    38   comments

coyote.jpgHave skunks and raccoons been hanging around your backyard? Are coyotes stalking your pet dog or cat? In Coquitlam and on the North Shore, bears are not uncommon. As Metro Vancouver continues to develop, conflicts between humans and urban wildlife are increasing. While none of these animals typically attack humans, they can become aggressive or cause extensive property damage. Most residents consider them pests at best.

The B.C. SPCA and the Ministry of Environment recommend that we learn to live with urban wildlife. Conservation officers only intervene if there is a threat to human health. Trapping, re-locating and killing can be ineffective, cruel or both. The best strategy is to keep wildlife wild out of your back yard and away from your pets and children.

Exclude: Fence off your property. Inspect your home for access points and cover with wire mesh. Trim trees near your house.

Don’t feed: Pick up any fruit on the ground, and wrap two-foot-wide sheet metal around tree trunks to prevent raccoons from climbing. Keep pet food indoors. Don’t use bird feeders. Secure your garbage and compost bins.

Avoid: Supervise pets closely outdoors and keep them indoors between dusk and dawn. Pick up small children if you see a coyote or bear. Keep children and pets away from feces—raccoons carry a dangerous roundworm parasite.

Deter: Install bright security lights. Bears, raccoons and other wild critters also tend to avoid loud human conversation, so set up a radio tuned to a talk station. Place sturdy containers filled with ammonia-soaked rags around your property. Don’t forget to top up the ammonia regularly.

If you encounter a coyote, stand up tall with your arms and legs spread out. Shout, bang on pots and pans, and make as much noise as possible.

Never approach a bear. Keep at a distance if possible, stay calm and avoid direct eye contact. Do NOT run unless you are very close to a secure place. Most bears are fast, agile and good swimmers. Black bears and young grizzlies are good at climbing trees. Grizzlies can reach up to 4 metres.

If a bear is standing, it is just curious. Talk softly and move slowly away. If a bear attacks, your response should differ according to the type of bear and situation. Playing dead does not work for black bears, bears that are stalking you or which attack while you’re sleeping. If a bear wants your food, abandon the food and escape.

Most wildlife will avoid humans, unless they lose their fear of us. Then they can become aggressive and attack.

More Information

How to live with urban wildlife (BCSPCA)

What to do if you see or have a problem with urban wildlife

More about bears

More about coyotes

More about raccoons


Note: This blog discusses general safety and security topics. It is not intended to provide comprehensive advice or guidance. In all matters of personal safety and security, we encourage readers to research topics in depth and consult a security professional about specific concerns.

Radius Security Vancouver, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Surrey, Langley, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Ladner, Delta, Tsawwassen



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