Keeping Wildlife Wild
Devils Postpile provides a wonderful opportunity to view animals in their natural setting. Along with this opportunity comes a special obligation for park visitors. With just a little planning and forethought, visitors can help ensure the survival of a threatened or endangered species. Always enjoy wildlife from the safety of your car or from a safe distance. Do not approach wildlife to take photographs. Every year visitors get too close to wildlife in order to get a picture. Sadly, injuries have occurred as a result. Use a telephoto lens instead. This will not only insure your safety, but the safety of the animal. Never approach a bear or get out of your car to get a picture of a bear. Respecting animals at a distance will help create a safer environment in which to view wildlife in their natural habitats.
You may not see a bear during your visit because bears naturally avoid people. If you do see a bear, what you should do depends on the situation but consider yourself lucky! Almost all visitors want to see black bears during their stay in the Park. Learn more about bear safety.
A glimpse of one of these magnificent cats would be a vacation highlight, but you need to take precautions to protect you and your children from an accidental encounter. Don’t hike alone. Make noise to avoid surprising a lion and keep children close to you at all times. If you do encounter a lion, do not run. Talk calmly, avert your gaze, stand tall, and back away. Unlike with bears, if attack seems imminent, act aggressively. Do not crouch and do not turn away. Lions may be scared away by being struck with rocks or sticks, or by being kicked or hit. Lions are primarily nocturnal, but they have attacked in broad daylight. They rarely prey on humans, but such behavior occasionally does occur. Children and small adults are particularly vulnerable. Report all mountain lion encounters immediately!
Deer mice are possible carriers of Hantavirus. The most likely source of infection is from rodent urine and droppings inhaled as aerosols or dust. Initial symptoms are almost identical to the onset of flu. If you have potentially been exposed and exhibit flu-like symptoms, you should seek medical care immediately. Avoid rodent infested areas. Camp away from possible rodent burrows or shelters (garbage dumps and woodpiles), and keep food in rodent proof containers. To prevent the spread of dust in the air, spray the affected areas with water and bleach solution (1½ cups bleach to one gallon of water).
NOTE: These regulations and precautions help decrease the chance of personal injury or property damage. However, damage and confrontations are still possible even when all of the above guidelines are followed. Remember your safety is your responsibility!