When Will Coloradans Learn to Leave Wildlife Alone?!
Dear Colorado residents,
First of all, I know this plea doesn't apply to all of you. Hopefully, it doesn't apply to most of you. However, there's a reason why wildlife officials are constantly reminding us to stay away from wildlife.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) issued another warning last month after a cow moose trampled a runner in Breckenridge who had gotten too close to her calf. A few weeks before that, Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) had some stern words for a visitor who tried to take a selfie with a moose.
I thought these reminders were getting through to us — until I witnessed this behavior myself.
On Memorial Day (May 31), my boyfriend and I were driving near Fairplay when we spotted two moose by the side of the road. We pulled over to take some pictures (and avoid a traffic accident).
We were playing it safe. I rolled down the window to get a better glimpse, but my boyfriend advised that I roll it up since we had a St. Bernard in the car (he's a smart cookie).
Other onlookers were not as cautious. In fact, some of them were downright stupid.
My boyfriend and I watched in shock as people got out of their cars and approached the moose to get a better picture. Another couple brought their dog (a husky, on the left) out of the car with them — and moose see dogs as wolves.
People were getting dangerously close to the moose (RMNP recommends staying at least 120 feet away). The only barrier between them and the animals was a wire fence, which the moose could have easily jumped or run through.
Thankfully, the moose did not charge and instead backed away from the crowd, but I couldn't believe this blatant display of disrespect to wildlife.
Do better, Colorado. No photo opportunity is worth the danger it could cause.
A Conscious Coloradan