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How to Avoid Animal Attacks as Wildlife Copes With Colorado Wildfires

With multiple fires burning in Colorado, the risks of encountering a wild animal are much higher than normal. Just recently in Snowmass Village, Colorado, a mother bear and her triplet cubs have been reported breaking into cars in search of food.

According to a previously published article from KRDO in Colorado Springs, fires will push animals out of their natural habitats, especially fires as large as the Waldo Canyon Fire and High Park Fire. Add that to extremely high temps during the day and it’s easy to see why the animals are stressed and irritated. During this time, residents are advised to leave wild animals alone to lower their risk of animal attacks.

An animal attack can cause very serious and horrible injuries, but it may be avoided if you take the right precautions. These tips are especially important in neighborhoods that have been destroyed by the Colorado Wildfires:

  • Keep all food sources, including dog food, wild bird food, and garbage inside or in wild animal-proof containers. Even your car is not a safe place to store food.
  • Make loud noises to alert animals in the area that you are there and give them a chance to escape. Most wild animals want to avoid you as much as you want to avoid them.
  • Avoid direct eye contact-stare at the animal’s torso instead. Most wild animals perceive eye contact as a challenge. Slowly back away as you avoid eye contact.
  • Don’t run, predatory animals will instinctively chase you as prey. Stand your ground and make yourself as large as possible by raising your arms and puffing out your chest.
  • Look threatening, but don’t challenge the animal. By making loud noises clapping your hands, throwing small rocks, you may appear dangerous and the animal may back off.

Also, because of the high heat in the daytime, wild animals are more active at night– so be sure to drive carefully when you are out after dark.

The good news, however, is that even though the wild animals will initially flee the fire zone, they will most likely stay close by so they can go back when the conditions get better.