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Wildlife & Your Safety

The North Island is a beautiful place to see wildlife. There are likely no grizzly bears on Vancouver Island (although a few have immigrated here in the past from swimming across from the mainland). Even so, you will not have a grizzly bear encounter on Vancouver Island.

Black bears are very common throughout the region. Their main goal during the spring/summer and fall seasons is to feed and consume as many calories as possible. Females may have cubs which add a level of risk if you encounter her. Males partake in gorging and are solitary, while both sexes are very territorial while feeding. Some bears on the island do not hibernate since our climate is so mild during the winter months. Although they have little interest in you, they do have a great interest in your food and drinks. If you have or plan on having bear spray, please review the instructions and always take into consideration the wind direction before applying. Please review the manufacturer’s instructions for proper storage of bear spray. Air horns are also a popular, non-chemical deterrent. Groups of four or more will likely not have a bear encounter.

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING LINK FOR BLACK BEAR SAFETY:

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/misc/bears/bearsaf.html

Cougars are found on Vancouver Island and throughout North America. They are a striking and very important apex predator in our ecosystem and one of the world’s largest cat species. Adults are not usually interested in our affairs however the juveniles can become curious when they are learning to hunt. The loss of their natural prey due to poaching, habitat destructions and logging have pushed cougars closer to human inhabitants and they may become interested in your pets and small children. These stealthy beauties are very quiet, intelligent and typically solidary so the chances of a negative encounter are small.

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING LINK FOR COUGAR SAFETY:

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wld/documents/cougsf.htm

Coastal Wolves are also a local beauty and can sometimes be heard singing to each other throughout the night. Like cougars, wolves are a very important apex predator and their existence is paramount to the health of our coastal and North American biomes. The likelihood of seeing one and having an encounter is very small, especially in groups of four or more. Many guests report never seeing them but find tracks and scat along the shorelines. These highly intelligent and social predators are not interested in you, but may become interested in your pets and food.

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING LINK FOR WOLF SAFETY:

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/misc/wolves/wolfsaf.html

Wildlife encounters do happen and the best way to avoid a negative encounter is to practice .

proper ‘Leave No Trace’ ethics and to be smart with your food, drinks, garbage, human waste and toiletries. ALWAYS pack out what you pack in. DO NOT bury garbage, wildlife will still find it and it further pollutes the land.

Bears, wolves and cougars have a better sense of smell than you do, by far! They can also easily outrun you – so don’t attempt it! Negative encounters typically happen when humans and wildlife spook each other. Be sure to make a known presence while outside. Be smart and safe while playing outside, read the previous links to avoid negative encounters.

Animals are remarkable, very important and will definitely create an emotional response if you get to see them. Just make sure you are able to see them on your own safe terms.

For more information, please read through the following links:

http://www.leavenotrace.ca/home

https://wildsafebc.com/

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