Wildlife sightings appear to be more frequent in the area, however, these animals still need space, especially in the spring.
Drumheller residents have always had the luxury of being able to view wildlife within the community. It is not uncommon to hear coyotes and owls in the evening, or deer wandering throughout neighbourhoods. There have also been sightings of majestic moose in the valley.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were several media stories about wildlife becoming more prevalent in the early days of lockdown with less human presence. Regional Fish and Wildlife Officer Joa Markotic doesn’t feel that is the factor in the Drumheller area.
“I think around Drumheller the moose population has been going up for the last number of years. I can’t say for sure what kind of effect COVID has had in places like Drumheller. There is more of an impact in places like bigger cities,” said Markotic.
In smaller centres residents become accustomed to seeing wildlife and are more prone to leave them alone.
“In smaller towns, people are used to seeing them so they don’t necessarily want to approach them, they kind of know how to handle wildlife for the most part,” said Markotic.
He says in the spring, it can be a time when wildlife could be more aggressive.
“With any animal, having young, you have to be careful because they are going to be extra protective and territorial,” said Markotic. “If you spot wildlife with young, give them their space because they can be very protective and get aggressive.”