Wildlife

We believe in peacefully co-existing with our urban wildlife, from squirrels to coyotes. Larger animals, such as bears and cougars, are rare in New Westminster, but they can still travel through parts of our city occasionally. Generally speaking, Animal Services Officers do not intervene with wildlife. We have compiled some tips and resources for your convenience.

  • Coyotes live in urban areas around New Westminster and there are recent reports of aggressive coyotes in a number of areas across the city:

    • Queen's Park
    • Glenbrooke Ravine


    Coyotes may be aggressive if they become too familiar with human behaviour and unnatural food sources and, at this time of the year, when they are preparing for mating season.

    If You Encounter a Coyote 

    • Raise your arms above your head and speak loudly and firmly. 
    • Do not run or turn your back on the animal.
    • If the coyote continues to approach, be loud and act aggressive to scare it off. 
    • Throw rocks, make loud noises.


    How to Protect Pets

    Take these measures to protect your pets as coyotes sometimes prey on smaller animals:

    • Keep cats indoors.
    • Walk small dogs on a short-leash.
    • Supervise your dog while off-leash in a designated off-leash area.
    • Walk dogs in high-pedestrian areas.
    • Feed pets indoors.


    Report a Concern

    City of New Westminster Animal Services Officers do not attend to concerns of nuisance or aggressive wild animal issues.

    To report wildlife that is aggressive or causing property damage, call the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.

    For other tips and more information visit: https://wildsafebc.com/species/coyote/

    Additional Resources

    Coyote Safety Information

  • Rodent poisons or “rodenticides” are used widely to help homeowners, businesses and building owners combat rodent infestations, but can lead to unintentional (secondary) poisoning of non-target wildlife.  Second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs) are typically the most common type of rodenticide used.  When ingested the poison causes internal bleeding and because it does not kill the rodent immediately the dying animal can be easily taken as prey by raptors (e.g., owls) or predatory mammals, which then ingest the poison during consumption.

    On October 9, 2020, the City passed a motion to ban the use of rodenticides on all City-owned properties and have since replaced rodenticide bait boxes with snap trap boxes.  As the ability to regulate rodenticide use more widely within communities falls within the jurisdiction of the Province, the City sent a letter to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy in support for a BC-wide anticoagulant rodenticide ban. 

    On July 21, 2021, the Minister of Environment & Climate Change Strategy released an order to ban the use and sale of SGARs for an 18-month period (until January 20, 2023). While the order is in place, the ministry will conduct a scientific review and reach out to indigenous peoples, local governments and other organizations to develop recommendations for future use of SGARs in BC.

    Learn more about the minister's order.

    Find tips on how to rodent-proof your property.

    How you can help

    Eliminate Food Sources

    This is the number one rule to prevent unwanted wildlife or rodents from hanging around your home. Do not actively put out feed for wildlife, and also eliminate attractants like pet food/water dishes, fish ponds, spillage from bird feeders, fruit trees, uncovered compost bins, and unsecured garbage or food waste bins.

    Prevent Their Entry

    It’s much more complicated to deal with wildlife if they’ve taken up residence than it is to stop them from coming inside at all. Carefully look at your home and outbuildings to ensure that there are no holes or gaps for wildlife or rodents to enter when they’re seeking shelter or a nesting place. Also be sure to block potential den areas such as under a deck.

    Tidy Up Your Yard & Seal Up Entry Points

    Eliminate wildlife hiding places, such as wood piles, brush, and overgrown shrubbery. During the off-season, store patio furniture cushions inside so raccoons do not use them as a cozy bed. For rodents, seal all interior/exterior gaps or holes bigger than the size of a dime in walls, foundations, sheds, crawl spaces and under porches with heavy gauge wire.

    Be a Presence

    If you see wildlife in your yard and you need to get by them, alert them to your presence by calling out or clapping your hands. Most wildlife will scurry away as they want nothing to do with humans. If they don’t move on, avoid inadvertently cornering them so they don’t feel the need to become defensive. Regularly check for signs of rodents.

    To learn more tips on how to rodent-proof your property, please read the BC SPCA's rodent-proofing guide and checklist.

    If you are dealing with wildlife on your property, such as raccoons in your attic or skunks under your shed, we suggest that you review BC SPCA’s AnimalKind accreditation program for wildlife companies, which helps ensure they are following humane practices. 

  • If you find an orphaned or injured wild animal, please contact one of the organizations below. If they are unable to help, please contact us at 604-519-2008.