Wildlife Safety

Wildlife on the Mountain

Perched atop Burnaby Mountain, the Burnaby campus is home to a variety of wildlife including black bears, raccoons, deer, owls, coyotes, and cougars, where sightings are not uncommon. Understanding the following tips will help keep encounters positive and free from conflict.

  • If you see bears or other wildlife on campus, call Campus Security at 778.782.4500


  • Dispose of garbage properly.
  • Do not feed any wildlife, including bears. It's against the law to feed dangerous wildlife.
  • Make noise, use a bell, or go with friends when on campus trails. This can help to 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.
  • Avoiding owl attacks: Some owls can be aggressive during nesting season. When possible, avoid flowing hair, ponytails, and fur hoods in forested areas as these can appear to owls as prey. When signs are posted consider taking alternate routes.


  • 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 the 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 Security at 778.782.4500


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