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Travel Tip Tuesday | Wildlife Safety

6 Tips on How to Spot Wildlife in
America’s National Parks

Moose in Grand Teton National Park
Moose in Grand Teton National Park

One of the most enjoyable things to experience at a National Park is to observe wildlife. The key is to remember that these animals are wild. Unlike animals that you see in a zoo, wildlife can be unpredictable. Every park has its own guidelines for wildlife viewing, so make sure that you are aware of the guidelines before you hit the trail. Our blog, The Best National Parks to See Wildlife lists eight parks where wildlife is easy to spot. It also includes links for guideline information.

Here are a few quick tips on how to view wildlife safely and when to look for them.

1) Best Times To Spot Wildlife

As a general rule of thumb, the best time to see wild animals is at dawn and at dusk. The exceptions to this rule depend on what types of animals that you want to spot. Bats for example are nocturnal and bears hibernate in the colder winter months. 

2) Better to See You With  

Bring along a pair of binoculars so you can see animals from a safe distance. If you want to take photos of your wildlife sightings make sure you have a DSLR camera with a telephoto lens. If you can take a selfie with a wild animal then you are way to close!

3) Do Not Disturb

Never approach a wild animal no matter how cute they are! Stay on the trails. It is illegal to touch, tease, frighten, or intentionally disturb wildlife.

4) No Treats Please

Don’t feed wild animals. Feeding animals can make them come looking for more. Once a wild animal learns that you are a source of food, they can become aggressive, putting you at risk of injury.

5) Practice social distancing with animals! 

Parks require you to stay a minimum distance of 25 yards from most wildlife and 100 yards from predators like bears and wolves. If the animal is reacting to you then you are too close! Make sure there is plenty of space between you and wildlife, after all, these animals are untamed.

6) Let Wildlife be Wildlife

Never call or yell at an animal to get its attention for a photo. 

The bottom line when viewing animals in the wild is to act responsibly, it is up to you to make sure that you keep yourself safe by following these simple tips and knowing the guidelines of the National Park before setting out.

Dall Sheep in Denali National Park
Dall Sheep in Denali National Park