Driving home a couple of days ago as we drove past Rundle College, a deer was grazing by the side of the road, seemingly just as curious about us as we were curious about her. It made us wonder about what one should do if they spot wildlife in their yard or community. Often enough you hear on the news that some wildlife has been spotted in a specific community, so, here’s what to do and some tips:
-Keep your distance and let the animals do their thing.
-Never feed any of the wildlife. Establishing a relationship with them of any kind is never encouraged as they will correlate you and your yard with feeding. (That's code for: they will always come back!)
-If it is safe to do so, ensure there is an opening your yard for the animal to leave.
-Keep your pets and children inside until the animal is gone. Any sudden noises or advances could startle the animal.
-Reduce your speed if you see wildlife around.
-Secure your garbage in your yard so not to attract any wildlife. Bird feeders are often attractive for wildlife, so keep them and the area around underneath them, clean.
Alberta Fish and Wildlife should be contacted for larger animals such as moose, bears, cougars, deer or coyotes. In an emergency (if the animal appears hurt or is threatening) call 9-1-1, but in a non-emergency, they can be reached at 403-297-6423.
Wildlife sightings can also be reported at 3-1-1 or use this link to report them online. Some animals are more of a pest rather than a danger. Bats, Porcupines, Skunks, Wasps, Mice, Gophers, Moles, Squirrels and Raccoons can all be dealt with at Pest Control and there are numerous places to call in Calgary.
If you find wildlife in your yard, admire them from a distance. Chances are it's a random and one-off occurrence, so enjoy the show but never engage.