Keep Wildlife Wild

Squirrel begging for food
Despite signs throughout the Park, many visitors feed squirrels and other animals, creating unnatural behavior that harms wildlife and people.

NPS

 

For Your Safety and Theirs

Grand Canyon National Pak is a sanctuary and home for wildlife. View these incredible creatures, but remember that it is illegal and harmful to people and wildlife to approach, feed, handle, capture, or harass any wild animal in the Park. By treating wildlife with respect and not approaching or feeding them, you are helping them live natural lives. By keeping wildlife wild, you are protecting their safety- and yours.

Do not approach wildlife

The wildlife in the park are wild animals- and it is important to treat them as such. Seemingly tame animals are still wild. Many visitors think rattlesnakes and mountain lions are the most dangerous animals in the park. In fact, far more people are injured by elk or rock squirrels because people approached them too closely. View elk and deer from at least 100 feet (30m). You are too close to an animal if your presence causes them to move.

Do not feed wildlife

Feeding wild animals disrupts their lives, and is dangerous for people. Many things we eat are toxic to animals. When animals become used to being fed, they become habituated and no long act naturally. They often become aggressive and will attack people to take food. NPS staff finds it heartbreaking when they are forced to euthanize animals whose aggressive behaviors were caused by being fed by well-meaning people. Animals that are fed from cars congregate near roads, and are at a high risk of being killed by a car collision. Animals that are fed often become dependent on food handouts and lose the ability to feed themselves naturally.

The saying "a fed animals is a dead animal" is unfortunately very true in the Grand Canyon. These animals live here- they do not need human food to survive.

 

More Information

  • The most dangerous animal in the park is the rock squirrel. Every year, dozens of visitors are bitten when they try to feed these animals.
  • Many species in the park carry infectious diseases such as rabies, Bubonic plague, or Hantavirus. Viewing wildlife from a distance will protect you from these diseases.
  • Many animals, including ravens, ringtails, squirrels, and coyotes, have become used to stealing food from humans. Please store your food securely and do not leave food unattended.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 129
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023

Phone:

(928) 638-7888
This is the main phone number for general park questions.

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