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Keeping Wildlife Wild- A locals guide to wildlife safety

You might have seen the videos going around showing a woman attempting to pet a moose in downtown Breckenridge. Luckily no one was hurt, but this is a good reminder that we need to respect wildlife to avoid dangerous encounters.

Moose are one of the most dangerous wild animals in the state and often become aggressive when they feel threatened. The Breckenridge Tourism Office provides wildlife dos and don'ts to encourage safe interactions with wildlife.

Colorado is home to tens of thousands of furry, scaly and feathered creatures. To keep them – and you – safe, don’t approach, chase, follow, surround or feed them, and always observe from a distance. Would you want a bunch of strangers surrounding you? Wildlife Tip: If the animal notices your presence, doesn’t have an escape route or changes its behavior, you are too close!

It’s not adorable to feed wild animals. You could alter natural behaviors, exposing them to predators or even euthanasia. This includes inadvertent feeding- learn about your housing or rental property’s trash regulations and dispose of waste and food items properly to avoid unwanted visitors.

Keep your furry buddies leashed when enjoying dog-friendly trails, and pack out their waste all the way to a trashcan. Your dog may be well trained, but any animal can be  unpredictable in wildlife territory. Wildlife Tip: Many wild animals feel threatened by dogs, especially moose. This can cause stress to the animal or trigger an attack.

Explore with a buddy– it’s never a bad idea. Wildlife Tip: It’s not uncommon for humans and wild animals to startle each other. Always expect the unexpected, have a plan, and be aware of your surroundings.Think about your safety and the safety of others. Don’t just pull over on the side of the road to view wildlife, and don’t get on the edge of a cliff to take a photo. Be smart!

Enjoy it! If you’re lucky enough to see a wild animal, take in the moment. You did come to Breckenridge for the beauty of nature, right?

To keep wildlife and yourself safe, don’t approach, chase, follow, surround or feed them, and always observe from a distance. It’s also important to Leave no Trace, and keep wildlife wild when we’re in their territory.

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