National Parks and Wildlife Safety Tips

National parks and the wildlife within these parks can sometimes be an exhilarating experience, but from a shy deer to an aggressive bear, wildlife should be treated with caution and care.

These animals are called “wild” life for a reason. While you may not see a wild animal inside the parks every time you visit, sightings do happen, and it’s a good idea to know the safety tips in case you encounter any wild animals.

In any Canadian national park or national parks and wildlife reserves, a creature as benign as a deer can cross your path. This passivity can sometimes be mistaken for sympathy.

All you need is a sudden move and you’ll be fending off a frightened animal that instinctively protects itself. An angry or frightened deer can be just as dangerous as a charging bear. A human cannot run faster than an animal and has fewer defenses when it comes to dealing with claws, teeth, and horns.

These few tips about national parks and wildlife can help you have a safer trip.

Do not feed the animals. You may see signs with these words in any national park and forest. This is not because the rangers want the animals to starve. This advice is as much a protection for animals as it is for people.

Wild animals have found food for themselves before mankind created a sanctuary for them, they will find food much later. If you approach a deer or elk with some food, if you can get close enough for it to eat out of your hand, this can seem like a perfect photo opportunity.

However, this innocent situation could turn ugly. A flash from the camera could cause the animal to lunge with its hooves or horns. Additionally, as these animals become more habituated to human interaction, they may begin begging for handouts and may even become aggressive if none is given.

Let these animals fend for themselves. Take a photo from afar. It can save you some broken bones and bruises when you leave these Canadian national parks.

Keep children and pets close. National parks and wildlife can sometimes seem like playthings to children. There are plenty of places for youngsters and pets to disappear in dense cover.

Also, even if you are keeping an eye on them, keep them at arm’s length. For some wild animals, small children and pets are the size of their prey. Even something as harmless as a chipmunk can suddenly turn violent and bite.

Canadian National Parks and Forests are wilderness habitats and should never be considered substitute playgrounds for children.

Treat all wild animals with respect. Whether this means giving them their space or putting away all the trash so as not to harm their habitats, wild animals deserve this courtesy.

You wouldn’t want a stranger walking into your house, flopping on your couch and taking pictures while you toss empty wrappers on the floor, would you? Neither do the animals in our national parks and forests.

Interfering with their instinctive needs can threaten their natural development. Canadian national parks are home to these animals. We are simply your guests.

For more safety tips, you can visit national parks and wildlife websites or contact your local national parks. Before heading out into the wild, educate yourself on the type of animals you may have sighted and learn about their typical defensive behavior.

Learn the habits of the animals, what they eat, when they sleep or where they hunt. The more you know, the better your chances of having a harmless encounter. Better safe than sorry!

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