Colorado is fortunate to count over 900 species of wildlife among our residents. Respecting wildlife while enjoying our state’s natural treasures is all of our responsibility, says Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Most dangerous encounters occur because people fail to leave wild animals alone. Wildlife should not be harassed, captured, domesticated or fed. Intentional or inadvertent feeding is the major cause of most wildlife problems, not to mention it is illegal to feed deer, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, pronghorn, bears and elk in Colorado.
Spring and early summer is the season for young wildlife and it’s important to remember that wildlife does not operate the same way domesticated animals do. They frequently leave their young to find food sources or even distract predators. If you see a young animal alone, never try to take matters into your own hands – it is best to let nature take its course without human intervention. If an animal is clearly injured or remains alone for more than 24 hours, then call your nearest CPW office.
Remember when planning hiking and camping trips that much of the state is also bear country. Before heading out for your adventures, brush up on how to enjoy the outdoors in bear country without unintentionally creating problems or potential conflicts with these amazing animals. Black bears are not naturally aggressive with humans, but they are strongly motivated by food, garbage and anything else that smells like a meal. Once they learn to find an easy meal at a campsite or in a car, they can damage property or even injure humans when returning to find additional food.