Minding Your Manners
Keep a safe distance from the animals. That’s why you’ve packed binoculars and a telephoto lens, remember? If you’re closer than three bus lengths to a large animal like an elk, you’re too close.
If you’re close enough that the animal changes its behavior in any way, you’re too close. Use your car as a blind. If you happen upon an animal while driving, only pull over if it’s safe to do so; to minimize the risk both to you and the animal, stay in your vehicle. Cars make great blinds, so you’re less likely to spook the wildlife if you stay quietly inside.
Avoid bear jams. Bear traffic jams are the nastiest jams in the parks. They’re dangerous for motorists, and extremely dangerous for the bears, so show your respect for one of the park’s most famous celebrities, and keep moving slowly along.
Don’t feed the animals. Not only is it against the law, it’s really, really stupid. It’s dangerous for the animals, and dangerous for you. (Even feeding the small animals can give a whole new meaning to the term “hand feeding,” once you realize you no longer have a hand with which to feed the animals!)By Michael Kerr
(Photo: Golden Eagle, courtesy of Travel Alberta)