CHEYENNE – Springtime photographers, drone pilots, pet owners, and people enjoying the outdoors should still give wildlife space this spring. Getting too close to animals can stress them, especially just after winter when they are still low on fat reserves and working to conserve energy.
“Spring is a great time to photograph wildlife, take your dog for a hike and enjoy the outdoors, but be respectful of the wildlife and give them distance to avoid disturbing them,” said John Lund, Pindale wildlife supervisor.
Getting too close to wildlife can add an extra level of stress that can impact their health. Spring is a critical time of year and even minor disturbances can be significant. Keep in mind that you are in their home or territory and that if you get too close, you will be perceived as threatening. A rewarding viewing experience is one where the observers get to see the wildlife, going about their natural activities, without being disturbed.
“Flying drones too low, creeping too close for photos, allowing your dog to run free or coming up on animals when hiking can cause a reaction from wildlife,” said Lund.
Lund recommends a common sense strategy.
“You want to be sure that your presence doesn’t change their behavior. Animals getting up from their daybed and moving or running can be extra strain they don’t need. If you notice this, you’re too close,” said Lund.
Flying closely to wildlife with drones or chasing an animal to get a better photo can dangerous to humans or allowing your dog to chase big game may be considered wildlife harassment, which is a violation of Wyoming law.
“We want all people to have a chance to experience the outdoors and get a great photo,” said Lund, “But we want you and the wildlife both to be safe.”