UTAH

Keeping visitors and wildlife safe at national parks

Aug 28, 2021, 4:18 PM | Updated: 4:29 pm
crowded zion national park...
FILE - This Sept. 15, 2015, file photo, shows Zion National Park near Springdale, Utah. The Park announced its seasonal shuttle service and camping availability on Monday. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

ZIONS NATIONAL PARK, Utah —  When it comes to visiting a National Park, most visitors have an interest in seeing wildlife.

And when that moment arrives, the rush of adrenaline can often get the best of some people. When visitors of a National Park do come across wildlife, it is important to keep a safe distance from them. Even innocent looking critters like squirrels need to be given their space.

How close is too close?

According to the Zion National Park web page, it is recommended that visitors stay at least 100 feet away from animals such as deer and big horn sheep.

Visitors should also stay at least 50 feet away from reptiles, squirrels and birds.

The site says any activity by visitors to attract the attention of wildlife is illegal. 

Wildlife can get bold

When wildlife are around humans, eventually, they will approach people or campsites in search of food. 

Park rangers at Zions National Park recommend  that visitors store all food properly, and don’t leave garbage laying around.

Large groups

As a large number of people may gather to see wildlife, the importance of maintaining a safe distance is critical. With the presence of humans, wildlife can feel threatened, and may become aggressive. The site says don’t be afraid to speak up, if other visitors are getting too close to wildlife. 

A perfect photo

Park rangers at Zion National Park suggest visitors use a zoom or telephoto lens. Better yet, visitors are encouraged to put their camera down and take in the moment. The sound of cameras can provoke wildlife. 

No feeding wildlife

Visitors are not allowed to feed any wildlife. It may seem harmless, but your safety may depend on it.

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Keeping visitors and wildlife safe at national parks