Rocky View County is home to a diverse range of wildlife species. While there are many benefits to living near wild animals, it is important to know how to co-exist with these animals to minimize conflict and ensure the safety of residents, pets, livestock, and wildlife alike.
In most of the county, residents share their neighbourhoods with whitetail and mule deer, moose, elk, raccoons, skunks, badgers, lynx, bobcat, fox, rabbits, bats, coyotes and birds of prey. In some areas, residents may encounter cougars or bears.
Preventing Problems with Wildlife
Often the best way to prevent problems with wildlife is for residents to make small changes to their property and actions. For example, removing sources of food, water and shelter will encourage animals to go elsewhere.
Avoid attracting wildlife by:
- Ensuring the property is properly fenced.
- Removing food sources by securing garbage, feed and pet food (including bird feeders) inside the home or in a sealed container.
- Eliminating locations for homes and hideouts by keeping the yard clean of debris at all times and by regularly maintaining and inspecting the property and its structures
When Encountering Wildlife
Wild animals generally avoid human contact; however, residents who do see wildlife should maintain their distance.
- Don’t attempt to feed, catch or pet a wild animal.
- Never approach wildlife babies or animal mothers with their babies; the mother’s protective response can be very fierce.
- Report injured or aggressive animals to authorities; don’t attempt to give aid to injured wildlife.
- If confronted, back away from the animal slowly. Attempt to scare the animal by acting big, waving arms, shouting and making noise.
- As a last means of defense against aggressive animals, pepper spray can be used. To be effective, it must be sprayed directly into the animal’s face and not into the wind.
When encountering large, threatening animals or carnivores, remain indoors if possible and contact Alberta Fish and Wildlife at 403.297.6423.
For injured wildlife, including mammals, birds or reptiles, residents can call the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation at 403.946.2361.
How We Can Help
Agricultural Services is available to help residents manage and control wildlife on their property. Services include making referrals to appropriate agencies, providing information on how to manage problem animals, and trap rentals for smaller animals and rodents.