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Old 09-13-05, 09:28 PM   #1
Petanca
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I have a question about wildlife...

Im new to mountain biking. I live in Calgary Alberta and I bike singletrack in Fish Creek Park. Its the largest natural park within a city in North America, because of this their is lots of wildlife in the park. Their are coyotes, foxes, about a year ago their was a report of a cougar but it was quickly captured and taken out of the area. Now I do not know anything about animals... and I have heard howls of what I think is coyotes (I do not think their are any wolves in the area). My question is what should I do if I encounter a coyote, or a fox or any other animal that could be dangerous? I have seen a fox and they seem nice and red and small an harmless, but as i said I do not know mucha bout animals so any help is appreciated.
Thank You
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Old 09-13-05, 11:10 PM   #2
nbgrom
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Coyotes periodically roam through my neighborhood due to the development around it. Coyotes are naturally afraid of people, but if one comes for you don't run and put your bike inbetween you and the coyote. That way you can knock the coyote back if it attacks, and you have a barrier. I have also encountered bears and bobcats camping. It was only a black bear and you just have to leave them be. Bobcats are a little more dangerous but its the same with coyotes get your bike between you and the cougar. You cannot out run/peddle (maybe dh) a cougar so your best bet is if you see one is avoid it and and if you get attacked dont show fear and protect yourself with your bike.
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Old 09-14-05, 05:35 AM   #3
Parafly9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petanca
I have seen a fox and they seem nice and red and small an harmless

lmao, well said~
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Old 09-14-05, 08:15 AM   #4
jstream
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petanca
Im new to mountain biking. I live in Calgary Alberta and I bike singletrack in Fish Creek Park. Its the largest natural park within a city in North America, because of this their is lots of wildlife in the park. Their are coyotes, foxes, about a year ago their was a report of a cougar but it was quickly captured and taken out of the area. Now I do not know anything about animals... and I have heard howls of what I think is coyotes (I do not think their are any wolves in the area). My question is what should I do if I encounter a coyote, or a fox or any other animal that could be dangerous? I have seen a fox and they seem nice and red and small an harmless, but as i said I do not know mucha bout animals so any help is appreciated.
Thank You
Fox are harmless unless you come across a suicidal one that leaps in front of your bike. That being said, sick ones can carry diseases that humans don't want to catch. Think of the fox as a small dog that's not used to humans... They will run away and leave you alone unless cornered. Coyotes are almost a common as dogs around my house (at least in the fall/winter when they extend their hunting range). They are free creatures and proud of it. In our neighborhood at least they are not hunted and have no natural fear of humans or other dogs. They tend to be fairly solitary (except for family groups) and will give other animals a fairly wide birth. Just keep your eyes on them as you pass - and of course, don't corner them. Oh yeah, keep small family dogs far away from the hungry looking ones A cougar could be quite dangerous, but the odds of running into one are quite slim.
Carry a camera! Enjoy the wildlife - I even go searching for it. A good sighting can cap even the best ride!
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Old 09-14-05, 08:29 AM   #5
Juniper
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Most wild animals are probably more afraid of you than you are of them. They'll run away before you even know they are there. There have been some occassional problems reported with more aggressive types like mountain lions (cougars); some will actually stalk riders/hikers. I always ride with at least one partner in mountain lion country. I have had no problems at all with coyotes or any other wild animals; actually, I enjoy seeing and listening to them. But I would avoid an area where mountain lions are known to be truly aggresive or grizzly bears are common.

As mentioned, the best way to protect yourself in a real problem situation seems to be to get your bike between you and the attacker and use it as a shield/weapon if necessary, just like you would with a mean, aggressive dog. You can't outride a mountain lion who is intent on running you down. Every time I've actually seen a mountain lion, though, it was running away from me fast and far away, not at me.

Use your common sense and enjoy your rides! Enjoying wildlife is a great part of the ride, for me. Most likely, you'll never encounter any wildlife that causes a problem. The worst thing I've had happen is snakes that are sleeping on the trail and slither off when I'm almost right on top of them; I'm not afraid of them but they startle me since I didn't see them and it can get a little dicey maintaining control!
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