Living Near Wildlife


Keep wildlife wild

All visitors, residents and business owners within the town of Banff know that it is a privilege to live within a national park. With that privilege comes a responsibility to keep people and wildlife safe.

Wildlife may be present within town as they move through the valley bottom searching for food, habitat and mates. They may also seek protection within town to avoid predators. Whatever the reason, we all must understand and take appropriate actions towards behaving responsibly around wildlife.

Your role in keeping yourself and wildlife safe

Ideally, we do not want large animals within the town of Banff but they can, and do, travel through town. If you see wildlife:

  • keep a safe distance of at least 30 metres for elk and deer and 100 metres for bears, wolves, cougars and coyotes
  • do not feed, entice or disturb ANY wildlife
  • always carry bear spray, ensure it is accessible and know how to use it
  • dogs must be on a leash and under control at all times.

Report large wildlife in town

If you have an encounter with wildlife, see any large carnivores (bears, cougars, wolves) or spot elk in the town of Banff, report it to Parks Canada by calling 403.762.1470.

Be responsible

Wildlife such as elk, coyotes, ground squirrels, grizzly bears and wolves need to find their own natural food sources, not human foods. Do your part by ensuring you:

  • dispose of all unwanted food and garbage in the wildlife-proof garbage bins
  • do not litter
  • remove any fruit trees from your property
  • never leave human or pet foods unattended when outdoors
  • do not leave ANY household material, including unwanted furniture, outside wildlife-proof garbage bins as they may have human food and associated smells.

Take the interactive journey for Living with Wildlife in the Bow Valley.

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