Canadian wildlife

Canadian wildlife

Canada is a vast country comprised of many different types of environments. It is also home to wildlife that an expat from the UK may have a tough time identifying or are not familiar with. Unlike in the UK some of Canada’s wildlife can be dangerous. It’s a good idea to know which ones to be wary of in case you ever encounter any on one of your adventures in the beautiful Canadian landscape. We list some of the most dangerous and famous residents of the nations vast wilderness.


Yep you guessed right. The famous comic book superhero with the claws was named after this fierce creature. Wolverines are short and stout but are incredibly strong, able to inflict some serious damage to their damage. Their powerful neck and shoulder muscles are so strong that they can munch their way through frozen animal meat. In the Canadian winter this skill is vital but also makes a wolverine very dangerous to us soft skinned humans. They are also very good climbers, so escaping up a tree won’t help!

Wolverines are so aggressive that is has been known for them to stand up to and frighten away bears from their own kills! Luckily for us these animals tend to shy away from areas of human habitation and wonder the vast forests and mountainous regions.

Fiddleback spiders

The Fiddleback maybe the smallest dangerous creature on our list but they sure are the ugliest. These critters are venomous and deliver a nasty bite to anyone unfortunate to disturb them. They can be recognised by their distinctive violin-shaped markings on their heads. They love to reside in dark places with one of their favourite spots being in shoes. The spiders bite can cause rashes, fever, nausea and even death.

Killer whales

Ranging from seven to nine meters in length these highly intelligent mammals hunt with a skill rarely seen in the animal kingdom. Weighing it at five tonnes these animals have no natural predators. There has never been an incident of wild killer whales killing humans but would really want to take that chance? These are animals are not afraid to take on far bigger prey including blue whales and due to their ability to enter shallow water they have even munched on a few moose.


These animals may be used as mascots and have their image on Canadian quarters but they are far from harmless. Elk are one of the largest animals in North America and are not afraid to hurt humans. National park rangers warn people to not approach under any circumstances due their aggressive nature. Males are particularly dangerous during late-summer during the mating season.

Polar bears

Polar Bear attacks on people are thankfully very rare but that’s only because there are so few humans living in the northern Canadian wastes. These animals are apex predators and have been known to actively hunt people. They attack with their savage teeth and claws and use their huge weight to pin their prey. If you see one, head in the other direction pretty sharpish.


These animals are often used as Canada’s national mascot and whilst they won’t actively seek to harm a human they pose a hazard in a different way. These animals are most dangerous to motorists as they tend to run out into roads and according to statistics there are up to 700 Moose-vehicle collisions every year, some of them proving fatal for the human. Weighing in at 600 kilograms your car won’t come away in one piece.


Easily one of the most dangerous animals in the country, these predatory cats stalk their prey before charging and pouncing. Children are particularly vulnerable to these animals thanks to their short height. If you ever get attacked by a cougar, do not play dead as this tactic has proven not to work, with grisly results. The best thing to do is fight back and hopes that you scare it off.

Grizzly bears

By far the most dangerous creature in Canada the Grizzly bear has a fearsome reputation. These bears are the most aggressive members of the bear family, fortunately they try to avoid humans with most attacks occurring when a human or bear stumbles upon one another. Mother bears defending their cubs are responsible for 70% of all human fatalities. If you see one, be sure to avoid it as if you get in a scrap with one it’s going to end badly for you.

Despite the number of dangerous creature out there you should not be afraid to explore the beautiful Canadian wilderness. If you keep your wits about you and respect the environment you find yourself in then you shouldn’t have any problems.

The Expat Hub
This post was written by
If you’ve already moved abroad, if you’re in the process of moving abroad or if you’re only thinking about it, the Expat Hub is here for you. For expatriates looking for advice, support and information, we’re the number one online stop.