Ladysmith is a small community surrounded by wooded hills. This is part of our charm, and allows us to enjoy many trails and outdoor activities almost literally in our own backyard. However, we aren't the only ones to enjoy time in the great outdoors. Our forests, hills and back country are home to bears, cougars, deer and other wildlife.
It's important to respect our wild neighbours, to take precautions for our own safety and that of our children and pets, and perhaps most importantly, to make sure that we don't encourage wildlife to become too used to our urban setting.
If you encounter wildlife:
- Stop and remain calm. Often the wildlife is just passing through and will simply move on if it finds no food source.
- Do not scream or run.
- Make yourself look big.
- Talk in a low and calm voice while backing away slowly.
- Bring pets and children into the house.
- When inside, you may use an air horn or loud noise to scare away the animal and let it know it’s not welcome in your yard.
The Conservation Service Office ask the public need to report wildlife incidents or issues to their hotline immediately: 1-877-952-RAPP (7277).
If you report bear or cougar issues before they have the opportunity to become habituated to people or conditioned to feeding on human foods, they may be candidates for non-lethal management, such as capture and release, if it is safe to do so.
However, If the public do not report issues and the animals (especially bears) have become conditioned to finding their food on our properties or in our garbage, and /or begun acting aggressively toward people, they are generally not candidates for non-lethal response and are usually euthanized.
Please protect our wildlife by ensuring your home and property are wildlife resistant.
Ways to Make Your Home and Property Wildlife Resistant
- Invest in bear-proof garbage cans.
- Keep your garbage inside a garage or secure enclosure, and only put it out on the morning of your regular garbage day.
- If you have fruit trees, make sure you do not leave ripe fruit on the tree or on the ground.
- Remove bird feeders.
- Clean your barbecue thoroughly after each use.
- Leave a radio talk show on when you are away.
Here are some helpful resources:
Bear and Cougar Safety
For more information about the urban/forest interface, please visit the Ministry of Environment website.