Don’t Forget the “Wild” in “Wildlife”

Baby bears are cute, but mama bear could hurt you!

First it was the video of the mama bear chasing tourists away from its cubs. Now it’s a teenager getting gored by a bison. When you’re in the wild, animals will be, well, wild.

So if you visit national parks or wildlife preserves during your next Global Discovery Vacations trip, we ask you to respect the natural environment around you. And more importantly, we implore you to be safe in the great outdoors.

The National Park Service provides viewing tips for specific parks so you can enjoy the animals who call the forest home without causing harm to them, or to you.

What might you commonly see in the woods or park?

  • White-tailed deer
  • Elk
  • Black bear
  • Raccoon
  • Turkeys
  • Woodchucks
  • Coyotes
  • Fox
  • Snakes
  • Eagles and Birds of Prey
Global Member Jeff S. captured this American Bison on film (from a safe distance!) perched atop a waterfall in Wyoming at Yellowstone National Park.

Global Member Jeff S. captured this American Bison on film (from a safe distance!) perched atop a waterfall in Wyoming at Yellowstone National Park.

If you’re lucky enough to come across wildlife, follow these tips for safe viewing.

  • Visit open areas dedicated to wildlife viewing or take a guided tour.
  • It’s advantageous to look morning and night as most animals are active in the darkness.
  • Sit quietly trailside to see what animals might meander out of the forest.
  • Scan the trees, many animals spend their days in the safety of the branches.
  • Bring your binoculars to get up close.
  • Do not feed any wild animal, no exception.
  • Do no approach animals or allow them to approach you, the cutest, cuddliest looking bear has sharp claws.
  • If you see a bear, bison or other wildlife close by, remain watchful. Do not approach it. Watch this video by the National Park Service to discover what to do should you find yourself face-to-face with a bear.

Approaching is also against the law:

Willfully approaching within 50 yards (150 feet), or any distance that disturbs or displaces bear or elk is prohibited.” In addition, feeding, touching, teasing, frightening, or intentionally disturbing wildlife is prohibited.

The animals that inhabit our many national parks, forests and mountains are one of the reasons so many people choose Global Discovery Vacations near these beautiful spots. Help us protect their habitat while keeping your family out of harm’s way by keeping these tips in mind when you visit this or any other natural park.

Have you ever come across a wild animal? What did you see and where were you? Feel free to post pictures of the amazing creatures you captured on film!

Stacey is a writer with an eye for design. She’s been with Global Discovery Vacations since 2004, directing the creative department. Her passion for the written word is equal only to that of rescuing dogs and playing volleyball.