Knowing and following safety tips around wildlife are important for all people spending time in the great outdoors. These general safety tips will keep adults, children, visitors, and animals safe.
The Rocky Mountains are full of beautiful landscapes and wonderful wildlife. The wildlife is a big part of what makes the mountains special. If you are fortunate to see some of the big mammals, such as bears or bison, you need to be careful. Remember those are wild animals and you are not at the zoo. These tips will keep you safe around unpredictable wildlife.
Important Safety Tips Around Wildlife
Don’t Touch A Wild Animal
Of course, you never want to touch a wild animal. Even if that squirrel or chipmunk looks cute and harmless.
All animals in the wild are just that – wild. They may seem super cute and cuddly, but you can’t predict how they are going to react. They are not a pet and they may bite you.
I’ll say it again – don’t ever touch a wild animal.
Don’t Approach A Wild Animal
Never get too close to a wild animal as you have no idea how it will react. The general rule is to stay at least 100 yards away from a bear or wolf and 25 yards from all other animals.
It is best to watch and admire the animals from a safe distance. This will keep you and the animals safe.
We have all heard stories of tourists at Yellowstone or Grand Teton NP who walked right up to a bison for a lovely photo…not a good idea.
Don’t Ever Feed A Wild Animal
Even if they seem safe and friendly you will be harming them by feeding them. Feeding them will simply get them used to being around people and seeking food from people. This may lead to problems in the future both for the animal and other people, such as the animal becoming a nuisance and being euthanized.
Never Approach Babies or A Mother With Babies
Human mothers completely understand the strong bond and feelings of protection that parents have towards their babies. Mothers will do anything to protect their babies from potential threats.
Be sure that you do not accidentally or purposefully approach a mother with babies or just babies themselves. That may cause the mother to become fearful and she will be worried for her babies and possibly attack the threat.
Be Aware Of Your Surroundings
Always pay attention to the area around you when you are in the outdoors. Be aware of where there could potentially be an animal hiding or seeking shelter. Be aware of coming around blind curves in the trail and make noise so that an animal on the other side can hear you before it sees you.