Grand Canyon Facts and Tips When Watching Wildlife
While hiking along the Grand Canyon trails, you will see a lot of natural rock formations, beautiful foliage, and babbling streams. There is also a good chance you will see some wildlife during your Grand Canyon tour. While it can be exciting to see animals in their element, interacting with them is dangerous and not recommended. There are some safety warnings that the Grand Canyon National Park officials give to first time visitors in case they encounter animals during their trip.
Fun Grand Canyon Fact: Mountain lions and bears aren’t the most common animal danger to tourists. Elk and deer are primary problems for most visitors. Too many people believe these animals are harmless, as they are not predators, but that doesn’t mean they are safe.
Elk and deer can feel threatened when approached and can quickly charge at anyone they consider a threat. There is even a greater chance of being attacked during the fall months as it is mating season and bull elks are aggressively competing for mates. The potential danger isn’t worth stopping and getting up close for a photograph.
Speaking of photographs, stopping your car to photograph animals can be dangerous, too. Many of the traffic jams and auto accidents experienced along the Canyon roadways are due to tourists stopping their vehicle to snap a picture. It’s best to avoid animals on the road entirely.
Tourists should also be wary of squirrels and other furry creatures. Squirrels rummage through trash and food, contaminating any gear left unattended. They can also spread bacteria if they bite you. While there has been no case of bubonic plague reported, fleas containing the disease have been found on the rodents. In short, keep your distance, don’t touch them, and don’t feed them. If you bring your dog, be sure you have a flea collar on him or her just in case.
Basically, if you encounter or see any wild animals during your Grand Canyon excursion, it’s best to keep your distance and not disturb them. If you do want to snap a picture, cameras have a zoom feature for a reason.