In Yellowstone we can see what wild animals do in their natural habitats. It’s fun to watch them eating, resting, interacting with each other and even raising their young.
What makes the animals so intriguing to us is also what makes them dangerous—their wildness. Though the animals don’t typically stalk or prey on humans, they are WILD. They have been known to charge and attack people who get too close. People have been bitten, gored or injured in the past when they have disturbed park wildlife.
Don’t let this happen to you. Never approach any park wildlife closer than 25 yards. For bears make it no closer than 100 yards to be safe and within the law. Never feed wildlife or allow them access to garbage. You could get bitten, and it often makes an animal lose its natural fear of humans, which endangers both humans and the animal.
Wildlife that have been fed frequently look for handouts around roadways and parking lots where they could be hit by cars. They often approach people and become aggressive. People have been bitten and some wildlife may carry diseases.
The WILD in our wildlife isn’t the only important thing about them—equally important is the LIFE in the wildlife. Don’t let your actions cause the death of park animals. Drive no faster than the speed limit and be especially cautious driving at night, dawn and dusk. Tragically, about 120 large animals are killed each year by vehicles on park roads. Avoid such accidents to keep the wildlife alive and you and your car safe.
When taking photographs remember that the animals need to save their energy to eat, rest, mate and raise young. Be sensitive to not disturb them. If you make an animal change its behavior, that’s considered disturbing it.
It is rare that humans and wild animals can be in such close proximity. Yellowstone is home to amazing creatures. As you visit them in their home, show respect. Keep your distance. Don’t jeopardize your safety or the safety of park animals. Let’s keep it WILD for their sake and ours.