Wild Animals in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada | StanleyParkVan.com  

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Wild Animals in Stanley Park

There are many wild animals that live in Stanley Park.  For being minutes from a major city's downtown core, you can see coyotes, squirrels, great blue herons, racoons, ducks, eagles, canada geese, beavers, turtles, marmots, bats, and other animals.

From the seawall you may also see whales, sea otters, and harbour seals.

There used to be some giant mute swans in Lost Lagoon, but they were retired a few years ago.  Find out about their retirement below.

There are no large animals such as bears that live in the park.  There was a deer, once recently, but it didn't last long(see below).

Also, once there was a rooster who lived in the park.  It also had an interesting story.

It is amazing the diversity of animal life in and around Stanley Park!

Do Not Feed Wild Animals in Stanley Park

Do not feed the animals sign in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Do not feed the animals sign

Please do not feed the animals in Stanley Park.

They are wild animals and if they become accustomed to humans, they may become a threat and will have to be put down.

As of September 28, 2021 there is a $500 fine for feeding wild animals in Stanley Park!


Coyote in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada

There are some coyotes in Stanley Park.

In 2021, there were many incidents where coyotes bit people.  Following this many things were done.

Click below to find out what to do when you encounter a coyote.

more info, photos, and updates about Coyotes...


Squirrel in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada

There are lots of squirrels in Stanley Park!

There are three type of squirrels in Stanley Park: Eastern Grey Squirrel, Douglas Squirrel, and the Northern Flying Squirrel.

The Squirrels are everywhere in the park, but a good place to see them is on and near the trail around Lost Lagoon.

Eastern Grey Squirrel

Eastern Grey Squirrel in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Eastern Grey Squirrel

The Eastern Grey Squirrels were introduced to the park in 1914.  They were part of a group of 8 that were imported from Central Park in New York City.

Nobody is sure who brought them and introduced them to the park.

They are obviously, non-native, to the region, and usually have a grey colour, but may be reddish brown or black with a white underside, and have a bushy tail!

Douglas Squirrel

Douglas Squirrel in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Douglas Squirrel

The Douglas Squirrel is native to Stanley Park.

It is smaller than the Eastern Grey Squirrel.

Northern Flying Squirrel

Northern Flying Squirrel in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Northern Flying Squirrel

The Northern Flying Squirrel is nocturnal and can actually 'fly' between trees.

It is a light brown colour.

Great Blue Herons

Great Blue Heron in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Great Blue Heron

The Great Blue Heron is an endangered bird that lives in and around Stanley Park.

Stanley Park has a large nesting area of Great Blue Herons near the Tennis Courts.

You can usually see Great Blue Herons at this nesting area and fishing in the nearby ocean.

more info and photos of Great Blue Herons...


Racoons in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada

There are lots of racoons in Stanley Park.

The best place to see them is near Lost Lagoon and the Duck Pond.


duck pond in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada

There are lots of ducks in Stanley Park.

The largest concentration of ducks can usually be found in and near Lost Lagoon and the Duck Pond.

You can also usually see ducks while walking on the English Bay Seawall and Stanley Park Seawall.

There are many types of ducks including: gadwalls, common goldeneyes, buffleheads, barrow's goldeneye, and mallards.

The Mallad ducks used to be migratory, but now just live year round in Stanley Park.


Eagle in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada

There are eagles in Stanley Park.

We think that the best place to see them is in the tall trees near the Stanley Park Pavilion.  Additionally, they can be seen frequently near the Great Blue Heron colony next to the tennis courts.

It is thought that Stanley Park has some of the tallest trees in the world because of the eagles.  They would hunt salmon and eat them in the trees dropping the bones which would provide calcium for the trees to grow large!

Canada Geese

Canada Geese in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Canada Geese

Canada Geese are prevalent in Stanley Park.  The easiest place to see Canada Geese is just outside Stanley Park at English Bay Beach.


Beavers in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada

There are beavers in Stanley Park.

One built a house under the stone bridge at the Duck Pond.

Another lives in Beaver Lake.  It built a huge beaver house right in Beaver Lake.

The beavers are usually not out and about during daytime.  The best time to see them is around dawn and around dusk.

In the summer of 2021 it was estimated that there were 2 families of Beavers with about 5-10 beavers in total in Stanley Park!


Turtles in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada

There are turtles in Lost Lagoon.

On sunny days, you can usually see them sunning themselves on logs.

Most likely, these turtles were somebody's pet that they released in Lost Lagoon.


Marmot in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada

There was a marmot that lived on the Stanley Park Pitch and Putt Golf Course in 2022.

There are not that many marmots left in the world.

We haven't seen this marmot since 2023, but hope that there are still some marmots in Stanley Park.

Other Birds

Bird watching in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Bird Watching

There are many other types of birds in Stanley Park other than the Eagles and Great Blue Herons.

Some of the other birds spotted in the park are: Belted Kingfisher, Seagulls, Anna's Hummingbirds, Woodpeckers, marsh wrens, chestnut-backed chickadees, willow flycatchers and many others.

Good places to see birds are Lost Lagoon and Beaver Lake.


Swan in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada

There used to be some mute swans in Stanley Park until 2016.

Mute swans are non-native and were introduced from Europe to Stanley Park because it was an 'English Park'.

At one point, there were a few hundred swans in the park.  By 2016, there were only 4 left.

Since they were a non-native species, the Vancouver Parks board controlled their reproduction by clipping their wing tendons and addling their eggs.  Additionally, some of the swans were lost to other wild animals from which they have no protection against.

The 4th last swan was killed by an otter in 2016.  At this time, it was decided to retire the swans to a safer location.  A sanctuary with ponds was found in the Fraser Valley and the swans were moved.

Fiona feeding the Swans in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Fiona feeding the swans

For many years until the last swans were at Stanley Park, Fiona Sinclair, a local woman, would feed the swans daily.  The swans needed to be fed by humans because Lost Lagoon did not supply the proper vegetation and their wings were clipped.

The Parks board would feed the swans in the morning and Fiona would feed them in the afternoon by hand to ensure that they, rather than the other wildlife, would get the food.

Their food consisted of protein pellets, cracked corn, and wheat.

Stanley Park Rooster

The Stanley Park Rooster in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Stanley Park Rooster

In 2016, there was a rooster hanging around Stanley Park.  He was named 'Ricky' and was looked after by the parks staff.  He hung out near the horse barns off of Pipeline road.  The parks staff even had some boots made for him to help with his bumblefoot condition.  Unfortunately, Ricky broke his leg and died from complications of surgery to repair his leg.

Downtown Deer

Downtown Deer in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Downtown Deer

In September 2015, there was a deer that somehow made it to and resided in Stanley Park.  He must have somehow made it over the Lions Gate Bridge into Stanley Park.  It became friendly with people and people were feeding it.  It became known as the 'Downtown Deer'.  Unfortunately, after a couple of weeks it was struck by a car and unfortunately died.


Whales at Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada

In the last 5 years, there have been whale sightings from the Stanley Park Seawall in Stanley Park.

There have been grey whale and killer whale sightings.

It seems that as the water in False Creek and Burrard Inlet gets cleaner, more whales visit.  Additionally, there are now herring spawning in False Creek which helps to attract whales.


Otters in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada

There are otters that swim in the ocean around Stanley Park.

The place where we have seen them most often is just off of the Stanley Park Seawall at the end of Coal Harbour.

Harbour Seals

Seal in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada

You can occasionally see harbour seals when walking on the Stanley Park Seawall.


There are 3 species of bats in Stanley Park.  They are the brown myotis, yuma myotis, and the big brown bat.

The best place to see bats is at Beaver Lake and Lost Lagoon at twilight when they are foraging.  They are also most active during the spring and summer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are there Bears in Stanley Park?

Polar Bears in the Stanley Park Zoo, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Polar Bears in the Stanley Park Zoo

There are no bears in Stanley Park at this time.  It is possible that a black bear could make it's way into the park, but if it did it would be noticed pretty quickly and removed for safety reasons.

In the past, there were black bears and polar bears that were in the former zoo.  The Polar Bear Enclosure, minus the polar bears, still exists in Stanley Park today.

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