Wildlife Safety 

May 10, 2022

At the SFU Burnaby campus, we learn, work and live among wildlife. Burnaby Mountain is home to black bears, raccoons, deer, owls, coyotes and cougars (among others) where sightings are not uncommon. We all have a responsibility in keeping wildlife encounters rare and safe.


If you see bears or other wildlife on campus, call Campus Public Safety at 778.782.4500


How to Prevent Wildlife Encounters:

  • Dispose of garbage properly
  • Do not feed wildlife, including raccoons or bears. It's against the law and creates unsafe conditions for wild animals and people
  • Make noise when on campus trails as this helps alert wildlife of your presence so they can avoid you
  • Avoid, avoid, avoid. If you see wildlife in the distance, do not approach and give it as much space as possible
  • Owls: some owls can be aggressive during nesting season. When possible, avoid flowing hair, ponytails, and fur hoods in forested areas as these can appear as prey to owls. When signs are posted, consider taking alternate routes

What to do if you encounter a wild animal

  • Remain calm. Slowly back away, avoid direct eye contact and talk to the wildlife (especially bears) in a quiet, monotone voice. 
  • Do not run or climb a tree. Do not scream, turn your back on the bear, or kneel down
  • Keep away from all wildlife. Do not follow or approach for photos
  • Stay together. If you are with others, act as a group. Pick up and carry small children
  • Go indoors. Bring pets indoors, if possible
  • Call Campus Public Safety at 778.782.4500


  1. Avoid and give them as much space as possible
  2. Never approach for photos
  3. Remain calm and slowly back away

See a bear? Call Campus Public Safety at 778.782.4500.


  1. Dispose of garbage and food properly
  2. Never approach for photos
  3. Do not feed or encourage them to stick around

Raccoons are not friendly or safe. Please do your part to keep them away.


  1. Slow down while driving around Burnaby Mountain
  2. Do not pull over in your vehicle to take photos
  3. Don't approach and always keep a safe distance to wildlife.

In the event of an attack

Black bear attacks are rare. However, if one occurs there are varying recommended responses depending on the situation, though each encounter is unique. Familiarize yourself with the general guidelines below.