Living in Canada means living with wildlife

August 14, 2018

By Canadian Immigrant Magazine |

Wildlife safety tips in Canada
Whether it is ducks in the park pond, squirrels in the trees, whales in the sea or bears in the mountain, living in Canada means finding ways to co-live with wildlife. While wildlife might seem cute and harmless, they are not household pets and can pose great danger. And it is everyone’s job to take preventative steps to keep wildlife and everyone in our community safe.

As immigrants, we need to learn what it takes to co-live with wildlife, especially about local wildlife, ways to avoid an animal attack, and what to do when different animals attack. Moreover, learn basic first aid in case of any injuries, and teach children about safety around animals.

Be observant and vigilant
Always watch for signs of wildlife and respond accordingly. Whether playing in your backyard or going for a hike on a trail, always be alert, keep children close by, family pets on leash, and keep a watchful on them at all times.

Encountering wild animals
If wildlife is in the vicinity, it is best to maintain a distance, leave them alone and appreciate them from a safe place, especially when they are taking care of their babies. Avoid provoking or agitating them by screaming, chasing or throwing rocks at them.

On the other hand, when confronted with wildlife that show signs of aggression, stay calm, make yourselves appear bigger and make loud noises.

Touching or petting wildlife
Children are naturally drawn to animals, and want to pet, kiss and touch wildlife, especially if the animals are cute and cuddly, injured or orphaned. However, injured or ill animals might be more likely to attack when they are not well. Teach children not to touch or be rough with the animals, such as pulling animal’s ears, tail or feet. That counts for pets, too.

Feeding or attracting wildlife
Never feed any wildlife, even though they might look hungry. Do not leave food or water out for household pets as this can attract wildlife. Also, regularly pick fruit off any fruit trees and off the ground if any has fallen; keep garbage in animal-proof bins, and only take out for pickup on garbage day.

Health concerns
Wildlife can spread diseases, especially with direct contact with the wildlife, their urine or droppings. Always thoroughly wash hands with soap, especially young children’s hands, after touching any wild animals or other critters. If immediate hand washing is not possible, avoid putting hands in mouth, nose or eyes.

If injured by wildlife, make sure to seek medical attention and address the psychological harm it can cause when being attacked by wildlife.

Whether in the city limits or in the great Canadian outdoors, we are fortunate to co-live with many amazing wildlife. We need to teach children to be kind, respectful, appreciative of all animals. If in doubt on what to do, do contact local wildlife welfare or animal control office and ask how to take appropriate steps.

Let’s be responsible and do our part and keep everyone and wildlife safe.

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