Elk Island National Park of Canada
Safety First - Animals in the National Park are Wild and Unpredictable
As visitors to Elk Island National Park, we must strike a balance between pursuing our own enjoyment, and the issues of personal safety and the safety of resident wildlife. The following guidelines should help us to have an enjoyable and safe visit to Elk Island.
Safety for the Visitor:
- SAFETY FIRST - View wildlife from a safe distance and vantage point.
- REMAIN IN YOUR VEHICLE to view wildlife on roadways.
- SLOW DOWN when wildlife are near the roadside.
- OBSERVE the 60 km/hr speed limit on the Elk Island Parkway.
- AT ALL TIMES, MAINTAIN A DISTANCE OF 100 metres from moose, elk, deer and bison. Visitors are discouraged from bicycling on Park trails in wet spring weather conditions and during the rut (breeding season for ungulates) from late July through to the autumn.
- Become familiar with the natural hazards of the Park, be properly equipped, and well prepared (knowledge, skills, fitness) for wildlife viewing activities such as hiking, walking, and cross-country skiing.
- Report aggressive wildlife to Parks Canada staff. Check with Parks Canada staff for information and safety warnings. Respect area and trail closures. Trails and areas are occasionally closed due to aggressive wildlife, poor trail conditions, on-going management activity, or other hazards. Entering a closed area is an offence under the National Parks General Regulations.
Safety for the Wildlife:
- Do not feed the wildlife. Poor health and premature death can result from wildlife consuming food other than their natural food supply. It is forbidden to feed, touch, or attract wild animals with food or bait.
- Resist the temptation to pick wildflowers, cattails, berries, mushrooms, or any other plant item. Plant matter and natural objects such as antlers and bones are part of the natural food supply for wildlife.
- Dogs and other domestic animals must be kept leashed and under physical control at all times when in a National Park. Loose domestic animals present a hazard to wildlife, as they are prone to chase and molest wildlife; they also present a public safety hazard.
- It is an offense to lure, disturb, chase or molest wildlife in a National Park; penalties can range as high as $5000 or six months in jail.
Planning a safe visit to a national park