Encountering Wildlife

Category: Science Tool

If you hike, camp or just spend time outdoors, one of the great joys can be spotting wild animals. In the majority of cases, these moments are both pleasurable and fleeting. Maybe you have time to snap a quick photo before that young deer disappears back into the trees, or the hawk soars off into the distance. Most animals have a natural fear of people and this fear protects us both. Occasionally however, encounters can be frightening, even dangerous. This area of the Oceanscape Network will provide you with tips on making sure your wildlife experiences remain safe and pleasurable for everyone involved.

Basic Guidelines When Encountering Wildlife

As a general rule, observe from a distance, staying quiet and still.

Never feed wildlife or allow wild animals to rummage through your food supplies, trash containers or recycling bins. When camping, lock food up in a car or hang it from a tree where it cannot be reached.

Supervise pets or children so they don’t approach or challenge wildlife.

Avoid wildlife during particularly sensitive times, such as mating seasons or when the animal is with its young.

Approaching wildlife is prohibited by law, so just don’t do it. If you think the animal is injured, you place yourself at even greater risk by approaching it. Instead, call 911 or your local wildlife or animal control authority.

Related Information: Coastal Animal Concerns | Outdoor Safety