As part of our regular feature on the seven Leave No Trace Principles, we’re featuring Principle #6: Respect Wildlife.
Learn about wildlife through quiet observation. Do not disturb wildlife or plants just for a “better look”. Observe wildlife from a distance so they are not scared or forced to flee. Large groups often cause more damage to the environment and can disturb wildlife so keep your group small. If you have a larger group, divide into smaller groups if possible to minimize your impacts.
Quick movements and loud noises are stressful to animals. Travel quietly and do not pursue, feed or force animals to flee. (One exception is in bear country where it is good to make a little noise so as not to startle the bears.) In hot or cold weather, disturbance can affect an animal’s ability to withstand the rigorous environment. Do not touch, get close to, feed or pick up wild animals. It is stressful to the animal, and it is possible that the animal may harbour rabies or other diseases. Sick or wounded animals can bite, peck or scratch and send you to the hospital. Young animals removed or touched by well-meaning people may cause the animal’s parents to abandon them. If you find sick animals or animal in trouble, notify a game warden. Click here for more details on respecting wildlife.
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