Wildlife Viewing: Minimizing Impacts

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The Elk mating season is approaching. That means hundreds of tourists will flock to Colorado to view this amazing wildlife event. In honor of this seasonal occasion, we thought we might provide a few reminders of how to view wildlife safely and respectfully.

1.Binoculars

If you really want to minimize your impact on the animal, binoculars are great. You can invest in a pair that really help you get a good view without the worry of spooking the animal in your direction.

2.If you can’t cover it with your thumb, you’re too close

Hold your thumb at arm-distance from your body. Squint your eye and try to use your thumb to cover the animal you are viewing. If you can still see it, you are too close.

The Elk at Rocky Mountain National Park are pretty used to humans, which is why you see groups of people parked on the side of the road to watch them. They don’t seem phased, but don’t be fooled. If an elk lifts it’s head to look at you, moves its ears back, or acts unexpectedly, it is time to back away.

3.Remember we are predators

Many of the wild animals that we encounter view humans as their predators. Remember this when wildlife starts to act aggressively or when you find an animal with it’s young. Be safe by watching their movements closely, viewing from a vehicle, or by using binoculars.

Now that you are an expert in viewing wildlife safely, it’s time to grab a pair of binoculars and get out there! Share this knowledge with other viewers. All it takes is a nice reminder that animals have wild instincts. After all viewing wildlife is much more fun when everyone feels safe!

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