Spring and early summer in our National Parks means the babies are out, as are the predators. But, it’s one of my favorite times to view wildlife and just be in the Parks in general. There’s a good chance you may still run into snow, but also a great chance you won’t run into quite so many tourists! I call that a win!
Here’s a few tips for great wildlife baby viewing, without causing undue harm on the animals OR yourself/others:
- Observe from a distance. The general rule of thumb is 100 yards from bears and wolves and 50 yards from all other wildlife (bison, elk, etc.)
- Be aware that, like I mentioned above, when babies are out, so are the predators. Carry bear spray at all times. See this post for more bear safety tips.
- Whatever you do, do NOT interfere with babies or mamas. Last summer there were two different incidents where a well-meaning tourist thought a baby animal looked “cold” and loaded them up in their car (seriously) to bring them to rangers. While this is, of course, super dangerous, it also means almost certain death for the baby animal. Just leave them be!
- Be aware of aggressive/protective mamas. Cow elk are particularly dangerous this time of the year as they protect their young. They also tend to “stash” them, so you often don’t really know where the babies are until you’re between the mama and the baby (which is a terrible spot to be!) Be aware of your surroundings.
- Please pull over to observe wildlife. Don’t jump out and leave your car in the middle of the road. People, that’s RUDE, not to mention unsafe! Everyone is excited about seeing the wildlife, we just need to help each other stay safe in the meantime!
This post is sponsored by Dawn and their efforts to save and respect wildlife everywhere. We are proud to represent them as Ambassadors for 2017!
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