I decided to keep my first ‘report’ fairly general – I could have written up a 10 page report on living with wildlife in Colorado. We have lots of it, and that’s part of the attraction of living here. Big ones like bear, deer and mountain lions and then, of course, all the smaller ones, coyote, fox, rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, wild turkeys and so on. Depending on where you live in Colorado Springs you will see more or less wildlife. The closer to the front range mountains you are, the bigger the wildlife. Deer and coyote as well as smaller critters can be found almost anywhere in town.
There are some basic rules to follow when you encounter wildlife. With the following list, I don’t mean to scare you. I just want to make sure that you are aware when you are hiking, biking and having fun inside or outside in Colorado Springs.
- Don’t approach the wildlife! (!!!!), even if it seems friendly (even more !!!!!!)
- Don’t feed the wildlife. A friendly bear, could be a dead bear soon (he will lose fear of humans, something happens and he will be shot). Unfortunately, we have some NOT-SO-SMART folks living here that feed the animals. I have no problem reporting them in a heartbeat when I find out. They are not doing wildlife a favor and not their neighbors either.
- Be even more careful if the wildlife has offspring along.
- Be attentive to your surrounding, know (who or) what is there. Running through the woods with your headphones on is not a good idea. Last summer I had my ipod blasting, when I ran down a neighborhood street. When a car stopped, and the passenger wildly waved at me, I was very impressed with my friendly Coloradans! “How nice they are here!” Until I looked to my left where a mother bear was in front of her 2 cubs a mere 6 feet away and she was in the process of standing up on her hind legs. I jumped about 5 feet to the right and then tried to “casually” trott next to the car, ready to jump in through the window should the situation make it necessary.
- Be careful where you step! Just because you don’t see the animals, doesn’t mean they are not there. Don’t be afraid, we do have rattlesnakes and scorpions here. That does NOT mean that you will find them EVERYWHERE, just be aware, especially when you decide to go off the hiking trail. Just so that you know, in the 6 years we have been here, I have NEVER seen a scorpion.
- You’ll learn quickly that critters love your trashcans – don’t keep them outside. Best is to put them on the curb no earlier than the morning of trash collection.
- There have been rabies cases here, so please vaccinate your pets (while you are at it, spay and neuter them, too) and be careful when wildlife approaches you.
- Slow down your car if you see deer. There might be more, but they are hard to spot sometimes AND they are not afraid of cars.
- Be informed! Learn more about wildlife on the website of the Colorado Division of Wildlife.
I have to be honest my little anecdotes refer mostly to bears, but low and behold being chased by a deer is pretty scary too! 😉 You know, it’s absolutely fascinating to see animals roaming freely and you don’t even have to pay admissions to see them.
Most of the time #animals are more scared of you than you are of them. <–Tweet this!