How To Respect Wildlife

Two elk in a brown grassy field
Roosevelt Elk need a lot more space than some visitors realize.

Food, Water, Shelter and SPACE

Many visitors know that every creature - large and small - needs food, water and shelter to survive. It's the same three basic needs we humans must have to live to another weekend. Don't forget that all animals need SPACE too! Wildlife gets very stressed and will react badly if their space is invaded by threatening, but well meaning people .

Imagine how you'd feel if you could never get away from your pesky brother, or annoying neighbor, or a threatening intruder? How would you react? SPACE is very important for us all.

Six Ways To Respect Wildlife

"Respect Wildlife" is a mission and way to reduce disruptive encounters with wildlife.

1) Keep Your Hands To Yourself: Leave creatures as you find them! Look, don’t touch, and step carefully.

2) Stay Back. You're Scary: If an animal starts to stare, fidget or flee, calmly back away and give them more space.

3) Pick Up and Pack Out Trash: Always carry your trash to the nearest garbage can. You can also pick up litter you find. If trash cans are overflowing, take your trash home

4) Hang Back To Enjoy The View: Keep your distance. Use your zoom lens or binoculars if you want that close-up view.

5) Keep Your Snacks To Yourself: Share food with your friends, not wildlife. Let them find and eat food that is natural for them.

6) Keep Pets On A Leash and Kids Close: Leashing your dog protects your pet and wildlife too. Teach kids to stay back, and to look, not touch.

Visitors observe elk from a safe distance

Learn More About Watching Wildlife

There are lots of great videos, articles and thoughts about safely watching wildlife in nature. Check out this National Park Service webpage about observing the world around you.
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    Last updated: October 22, 2021

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