Let’s keep the “wild” in wildlife! Rouge National Urban Park is home to over 1700 different species of animals and plants, and we want to help them thrive here. We recommend using “the rule of thumb:” if you close one eye, extend your arm and can fully cover the animal with your thumb, you are likely a safe distance away. If you can still see any of the animal, you’re too close and it’s time to move back!
While wandering through the Rouge, it’s important to remember that you’re visiting the home for many different types of wildlife. One of the larger animals you might spot is a coyote, though they’re rather shy and hard to find. If you do encounter one, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Coyotes are usually wary of people.
- They can become less fearful if they are fed, or associate humans with food sources.
- Coyotes are most active at dusk and dawn.
For the safety of visitors and wildlife:
- Always walk with a friend
- Keep your dog leashed
- Stay on marked trails
- Never approach or feed wildlife
What to do if approached by a coyote:
- Remain calm
- Do not run away or turn your back
- Slowly back away
- Make noise, or blow your whistle if you have one
It’s unusual to see a coyote, and often they’ll run off as soon as they see you. By following these tips, we can all do our part to help keep people and coyotes safe.
Squirrels, red foxes, white-tailed deer, and raccoons are just some of the wildlife you might encounter in the park. Black bear sightings, however, are exceptionally rare, and are often confused with other animals. In the unlikely event that you see a bear in or near the park contact the Bear Wise reporting line at 1-866-514-2327 or, in an emergency, 911. For more information and tips on how to behave respectfully around wildlife, check out Parks Canada’s “Keep the Wild in Wildlife”.