Humans And Wildlife: A Few Tips To Help Us Enjoy The Outdoors In Harmony

Jul 19, 2019

As more people recreate in Utah's outdoors, the chance of encountering wildlife also increases.  Whether that encounter will be positive or negative depends on what people know about living and recreating near and in wildlife's habitat.  

By camping, hiking and biking irresponsibly, you might not only endanger yourself and your family, but also future visitors.  Here are some tips that can better help you and your family enjoy Utah's great outdoors and the wildlife that also inhabit these areas. 

  • If a wild animal receives a food reward from a human source, it can become food conditioned or habituated, and thus will seek out areas frequented by humans to find food. 
  • An important part of camp safety is storing the food.  Do not leave food out deliberately to attract bears and other wildlife.  Secure food and trash in odor-free bear proof containers. 
  • When hiking and biking in the outdoors also keep safety in mind.  Stay alert at dawn and dusk in particular when wildlife are most active. 
  • Always hike, jog and bike with a companion and make noise to alert wildlife of your presence. 
  • Say at least 50 feet or more from wildlife.  50 feet is approximately 3 car lengths. 
  • Always give the animal on the trail a clear escape route. 
  • Stay away from animal carcasses - there could be an unseen predator guarding its meal. 
  • Stay on the designated trails. Snakes hide in dense trails and open grasses so be aware of your surroundings. 
  • Do not let children or pets play with snakes.
  • Look carefully where you set your feet and sit.