Canada’s urban wildlife often makes news headlines.
A grey whale wanders into Burrard Inlet in downtown Vancouver. A moose is videotaped trotting down a footpath beside Calgary’s busy Memorial Drive. A cougar chases two girls down a street in an Alberta town. A coyote eats a small dog in Toronto’s Beaches area and a deer is spotted outside of Toronto’s Union Station, the busiest transportation hub in Canada.
One place that doesn’t make the news for wildlife sightings is the local dump. You won’t see pix of it in local tourism brochures but there’s a saying that if you want to see a bear, head to the local dump. That’s exactly where I was last summer when I spotted this motley crew of black bears which included a rare cinnamon gal. The guy at the dump told me Cinnamon Girl is an old gal that they had not seen in awhile.
Some of Canada’s wildlife is often seen in cities. Raccoons climb on urban porches and skunks dig for grubs in backyards. Hawks and occasionally osprey hunt pigeons and black squirrels in downtown parks and on the local par 3 where I occasionally get out for a round, I’ve had fox run after my ball! Last year, I saw a weird animal I couldn’t identify. It had a pink snout, spiky-looking fur and a long rat-like tail. My neighbours told me it was a possum. A possum! I didn’t grow up in this part of Canada but apparently these critters are common in southern Ontario. Talk to anyone in my ‘hood though and they’ll tell you the ‘Toronto’ possum is a recent transplant that first arrived here on fruit trucks from the southern US. The trucks are destined for Ontario Food Terminal, a massive distribution point for fruit and vegetables in Toronto’s west end.