Please slow down for wildlife says Parks Canada

Mountain goats looking for salt and vegetation on the side of the highway are at risk of being hit and killed by inattentive motorists. Photo courtesy of Parks Canada.

Parks Canada is warning motorists to slow down for wildlife such as bears and goats that are attracted to fresh spring vegetation alongside the Trans-Canada Highway where they could be hit and killed by motor vehicles.

“It is always tragic when an animal is hit on the highway,” Sarah Boyle, manager of resource conservation with the agency, said in a statement.

“About two weeks ago we lost a male grizzly bear at the Laings* corner when it was hit by a motor vehicle on the Trans-Canada Highway in Mount Revelstoke National Park. It is really important to pay attention and slow down for wildlife.”

This week alone, Parks Canada staff observed a grizzly sow and cub grazing beside the highway at the Illecillewaet Glacier corner and a black bear and two cubs beside the Slide Path picnic area in Glacier National park. In addition, several mountain goats, including a very determined billy were spotted on the highway at the Lauretta* corner.

“We managed to chase the goats off the road, but the billy was not very cooperative,” said Resource Conservation Specialist Kelsey Furk. “He seemed determined to stay on the highway and I suspect will return soon. I hope drivers take caution around blind corners and respect speed limits.”

Parks Canada is committed to protecting visitors and wildlife and is working with the RCMP to enforce highway speed limits in the areas where wildlife are commonly found. In addition, they are working with the Ministry of Transportation to have “slow down for wildlife” messages posted on the electronic highway signs at the entrance to the parks and cautionary messages posted on the Drive BC website. Parks Canada recommends that motorists obey all posted signs and watch for wildlife — especially at dawn and dusk when they are most active.

*Laings and Lauretta corners are approximately 20 km east of Revelstoke and four km west of the Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk Day Use Area.