Did you know Colorado is home to more than 960 species of wildlife? While that is an exciting prospect to animal and bird lovers who come to visit the state, it can be a challenge for the animals themselves. Knowing how to appreciate and view wildlife safely is paramount to the safety of both humans and animals.
In Steamboat, sightings of black bears, moose and elk have become a frequent occurrence in urban areas. We urge everyone to remember that the wildlife you see is indeed wild and should never be approached. At Condos in Steamboat, we reached out to Colorado Parks and Wildlife for safety tips to share with our guests who are on a mission to seek out the furry and feathered members of our community.
- Time your outing for morning or evening, when wildlife are most active.
- Wear earth-tone clothes, like gray, khaki and olive green. Animals will tolerate you better if you blend into the surroundings.
- Keep your distance, for the safety and comfort of both animals and people. If an animal changes its behavior, stops eating or seems nervous at your presence, it’s time to back away.
- Stay quiet and still. Noise and quick movements mean “danger” to wildlife. They may run or fly off, sometimes leaving their nests or young unprotected. Never chase or harass wildlife.
- Look to the edges of the landscape, (where the forest meets the meadow for example), because many wildlife species spend time along habitat edges.
- Look for movement, shapes, and color contrasts. Motion is the best giveaway. Also, look for parts of an animal such as its head, tail, ear, wing, or antler.
- Use binoculars, a spotting scope, or a telephoto lens for a close-up view.
- Use your car as a viewing blind. Pull safely off the road. Respect others who are viewing the same animals.
- Avoid animals that behave unexpectedly or aggressively. They may be ill, injured, or have young nearby.
- Leave your pets at home. Pets hinder wildlife watching. They can chase, injure or kill wildlife, or be injured or killed themselves.
- Do not feed wild animals. It can change their behavior in ways that can be harmful—both to them and to people. Reserve feeding for ‘backyard’ birds.