Wildlife Safety

American Black Bear walking on the edge of a field with dense blanket of green plants behind
American Black Bear walking near a dense thicket of green plants.

NPS Photo

Part of the overall experience of visiting an area such as the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is the opportunity to view an abundance of wildlife in their natural habitat. It is critically important to remember that the park is their home, and we humans are really just visitors. The last thing we want is for you or your family to have a bad visit, so please check out these basic safety guidelines below.


For your safety and theirs, please follow these basic safety guidelines:

  • Never approach the wildlife. Respect their space and keep a safe distance between you and them. They are wild animals and will defend themselves if they feel threatened.
  • Never feed the wildlife. Feeding the wildlife might seem fun but it really puts them (and potentially visitors) in danger. There is plenty of natural food for the wildlife to eat in the park. Don't worry. Always dispose of any food waste in bear proof trash cans or take it home with you.
  • Don't leave food at a campsite or picnic area; Store food in the trunk of a car or use a bear-proof container, if possible. Clean up all food scraps from your site and don't leave garbage with over-filled garbage cans. Pack out as much as you can with you. Your park is counting on you to help keep this special place special.
  • Report sick or injured wildlife to the park communication center at (800) 543-4295; Do not try to help them on your own. We will get help to them for you. Sick or injured animals may attack out of fear, so please stay clear and call us at the number above with your location and nature of your call.
  • Never remove any wildlife from the park. The park wildlife is essential to the well-being of the entire ecosystem here. Every fish, salamander, insect, or other creature has a role in keeping this place the wonderland it is. Please do your part in keeping it that way.
  • Please keep pets on a 6-foot leash to protect both them and the local wildlife. Help prevent injuries to our furry friends and visitors.
  • Stay on designated trails. It is easier to see and avoid unwanted encounters or potential injuries. It also allows our rangers to get to you the fastest in the event of an injury.
  • Watch your step to avoid stepping on small animals like snakes. Snakes seldom strike unless trampled or bothered and can be camouflaged in leaves and other debris.
  • Don't put your hands where you can't see them. Use caution with handholds and bracing yourself along trails. Those little places might be someone's home, so please be careful.

Last updated: February 16, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1978 River Road
Bushkill, PA 18324

Phone:

(570) 426-2452

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