Leave No Trace Principle 6: Respect Wildlife
Greetings Folks and thanks for being a part of this fine Green Tip Tuesday! This week we are tackling one of my favorites; principle #6 of Leave No Trace - Respecting Wildlife.
It is important to remember that we are strangers to animals, and since we probably look like aliens to them, it is very easy to startle wildlife. Stomping through the woods and causing a commotion can be very stressful for those that inhabit that area. How would you feel if something walked into your living room, stood in front of your tv, and then started throwing stuff all around the room? Definitely a bit frazzled, probably a bit scared, and undoubtedly confused. Remember, you are a visitor in the homes of wildlife.
If you do encounter animals while you are out exploring, be sure to maintain your distance from whatever it is that you see. That means don’t walk towards it, don’t feed it, and don’t try and pick it up! However fuzzy, fluffy, cute, or cuddly it looks LEAVE IT ALONE, JEEZ! Coming in contact or close quarters to wildlife can result in injury from the animal or even illness if that particular animal is infected with something.
Instead of getting closer to the animal, do yourself a favor and grab some binoculars so you can observe from a distance and see what that animal is truly like in the wild (Example A). Or better yet, get yourself a camera with a big ole’ lens on it and capture that moment forever (Example B). Boom roasted (Example C). There are much safer and smarter ways to observe wildlife and create a fulfilling experience than by simply walking up to and scaring the jeepers out of it.
Just like humans, wildlife drinks water (mind blowing), so keep your distance from larger watering holes. Animals need to be able to access water whenever they need, make sure you set your campsite at least 200 ft away from water sources. How would you feel if you hadn’t drank water in hours, your mouth feels like the Sahara, and you found a moose in front of your sink? Again, definitely a bit frazzled, probably a bit scared, really confused, and still SUUUUPPER thirsty.
Remember, respect your distance, you are a visitor, touch with your eyes (not actually though, don’t touch anything with your eyes). LNT has some more info right here.
Thanks again for tuning in to this week's green tip, have a great rest of the week.