Staying a safe distance away from wildlife should be common sense. National parks and state parks provide plenty of signage instructing visitors to stay a certain distance away from animals but it seems like we can’t go a week during the summer months without a story of people blatantly disregarding these rules and regulations.
In response to the released this simple to follow guideline about wildlife safety. Here’s an idea, if you’re headed to a National Park save it as the visual reminder screensaver on your phone so you’ll have a quick reference for proper protocol if you see an animal and wonder if it’s safe to approach.
Here’s the NPS’s message to visitors encountering wildlife:
“National parks offer a unique experience for watching wildlife. But with that privilege comes great responsibility. Visitors are responsible for their own safety and for the safety of the animals, too. Simply put, leave animals alone—no touching, no feeding, no harassing. Just remember to keep your distance, and enjoy your experience watching wildlife.
This message is not for those followers who know what’s up and would never dream of getting too close to wildlife on purpose. Thanks for leading by example! Think of this as a message to share with others you know heading out to a park. “Vacation brain” sometimes takes over, and people may let their guard down, or get taken in by bear’s ears and other cuddly thoughts, only to have a less than pleasant experience in nature. It happens. Every year.
Infographic entitled “Wildlife Safety” with a chart of two columns. First row has an illustration of someone feeding a squirrel “nope” example next to an illustration of a person distanced next to no feed sign as “better” example. Second row has an illustration of a person taking a selfie next to a bear as and the word “nope” next to an illustration of a person far away from a bear with words, “good job”. Third row has an illustration of a person next to a moose with the word “nope” next to an illustration of a person far away from a moose with words, “now you got it”. Fourth row has an illustration of a person about to touch a bison as a “nope” example next to an illustration of a person running away from charging bison herd with words “Good luck”.”
Photos from: Yellowstone National Park Facebook Page