How to Act Around Wildlife

We’re so fortunate to live in such a beautiful town that is Whistler. And for those of us that like to get outside and explore the natural wonders of our surroundings, encountering wildlife can be a part of the adventure.

While exciting as it may be, it’s our responsibility to know how to interact with wildlife in a respectful, safe, and intelligent manner.

Bears: Make bears feel unwelcome outside your home. Scare them away by making loud noises from a safe location. Contact 604.905.BEAR to help track bear activity and keep them safe. If you see a bear, keep your distance. Identify yourself by speaking in a calm tone. Back away slowly and leave the area. Do not stop your car to get a closer look at a bear. If you see a bear, please phone the British Columbia Conservation Officer Service toll free at 1-877-952-7277 or 604-905-BEAR. For general information on bears or to report a garbage or attractant concern, please email

Cougars: Whistler is also cougar country. These large cats generally stay hidden in the landscape and away from humans. If you do encounter a cougar:

  1. Stay calm and keep the cougar in view.
  2. Pick up children immediately – children frighten easily, the noise and movements they make could provoke an attack. Back away slowly, ensuring that the animal has a clear avenue of escape. Make yourself look as large as possible. Keep the cougar in front of you at all times.
  3. Never run or turn your back on a cougar. Sudden movement may provoke an attack.
  4. Respond aggressively if a cougar shows interest or follows you. Maintain eye contact with the cougar, show your teeth and make loud noise. Arm yourself with rocks or sticks as weapons. Crouch down as little as possible when bending down to pick up things off of the ground.
  5. Fight back if a cougar attacks. Convince the cougar you are a threat and not prey. Use anything you can as a weapon. Focus your attack on the cougar’s face and eyes.
  6. If you see a cougar, please phone the British Columbia Conservation Officer Service toll free at 1-877-952-7277 or 604-905-BEAR.

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