Last week we reported on contact information for safety services, including those that respond to conflicts with dangerous wildlife. But what wildlife are dangerous and what can you do about wildlife that are considered low risk?
Dangerous wildlife include bears, cougars, wolves and coyotes in urban areas and behaving in ways that pose a risk to public safety. Examples include attacks, bears breaking into buildings, repeated dangerous wildlife encounters at or near public locations, and situations where dangerous wildlife has become habituated (no longer afraid of humans) or food conditioned (dependent on food provided by humans) and now present a risk to public safety.
In these cases, the public are asked to contact the B.C. Conservation Officer Service via the RAPP hotline (Report All Poachers and Polluters) at 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP) or by emailing Conservation.Officer.Service@gov.bc.ca
The Conservation Officer Service (COS) does not attend low-risk wildlife incidents or instances where conflict situations can be prevented by making changes to your property or daily behaviours. Examples include conflicts with raccoons, squirrels, skunks, crows, geese, deer and other ungulates (animals with hooves). In the majority of these situations, simple actions will help eliminate the conflict such as:
- Erecting barriers such as fences or nets to keep deer out of gardens.
- Planting vegetation that does not attract wildlife.
- Removing food attractants such as garbage and bird seed, securing composts, removing fruit as it ripens and picking up windfalls, and not leaving pet food outside.
- Securing buildings to prevent access to roofs, attics and crawlspaces.
- Installing scare devices.
More information about preventing and reporting wildlife encounters is available from the COS section of the B.C. government website and from organizations such as WildSafeBC (1-250-828-2551). Other tips are available by searching online using terms such as “home remedies to get rid of raccoons. ”