West Vancouver is home to many wild animals, including raccoons, coyotes, skunks, cougars and bears. Learn what to do if you see dangerous wildlife and make your home less inviting to them by taking steps to reduce wildlife attractants.
You can do your part to avoid attracting animals to your property and help make our neighbourhood a safe place to live for humans, pets and wildlife.
- do not feed wildlife: the Provincial Wildlife Act considers it an offence to feed or attempt to feed dangerous wildlife
- keep all garbage secure: clean garbage containers and ensure they have tight fitting secure lids or use bear-resistant bins; do not place garbage out until 5 a.m. on the morning of pick up
- ensure your compost is working properly: composts that emit strong odours are likely not working correctly; add more brown matter such as soil or leaves, consider adding some lime to aid in composting and reduce odours, do not add meat products to your compost and make sure the lid is secured
- pick up all fruit: consider picking fruit before it ripens and ripening it indoors or replacing fruit trees with non-fruit bearing trees; contact a local fruit gleaning group to help collect fruit if you are not going to use it
- reduce places for wildlife to hide in your yard: remove dense landscaping or low branches; use small wire mesh to seal off porches, sheds and decks that provide opportunities for hiding or denning
- keep wildlife out of your yard: fences kept in good condition, flat to the ground, that are a minimum of two metres tall will limit coyote access into your yard
- remove bird feeders: seeds attract rodents such as mice, which then attract coyotes and other wildlife
- install motion activated lights or sprinklers
- do not leave pets outdoors and unattended: keep your cat indoors and ensure you keep your dog close when on walks
- pick up after your dog: canine faeces can act as a coyote attractant
- do not feed pets outside: if you must, clean up any pet food immediately after feeding
- secure petroleum products: petroleum products such as synthetic rubbers, tar paper, paint, turpentine, kerosene and charcoal fluid are also attractants
- do not keep food in your car
Coyotes are very adaptable and are continuing to expand into a range of habitats—even urban centres. It is important that we know how to safely co-exist with them.
If you see a coyote that is behaving aggressively towards you:
- pick up small children and pets
- make yourself appear large and wave your arms
- maintain eye contact
- shout or speak in a low firm voice
- if you have a walking stick or gardening tool such as a rake or shovel, use it as a weapon against the coyote
- throw rocks or sticks
- make noise with pots and pans or tin cans
- 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
There have been records of coyotes becoming interested in and/or pursuing children and pets. If you do encounter a coyote, pick up small children and pets and slowly back away while carrying them.
Additional considerations for dog owners:
- keep dogs on-leash and under control
- avoid using extension leashes in areas where coyotes are known to be, especially with small dogs who will be seen as prey
- coyotes may be more aggressive towards dogs during January and February when they are looking for mates
- do not allow your dog to interact with coyotes, even larger dogs; this permits coyotes to become familiar with humans and pets and increases the risk of negative human/coyote interactions
Call the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277 to report coyotes that display aggression or lack fear of people or pets.
For more information go to wildsafebc.com.
Report a sighting
Found a deceased animal?
If you find a deceased animal on your property, never throw it in the garbage. You can contact Until We Meet Again, which is a North Shore pet cremation service.