DWR Let's Public Know When to Report Wildlife
By Kristin Forbis, Nov 20, 2020
The Division of Wildlife Resources is offering clarification to the public of when to report wildlife encounters because not every encounter or sighting needs to be called in. It is common in winter time to have an increase in sightings, especially with increased building in the foothill areas and canyons and the increase in the number of doorbell cameras. A general rule is to always keep ones distance. DWR Law Enforcement Captain Wyatt Bubak says, "Getting too close to a wild animal can cause the animal to feel threatened. If it feels threatened, it will sometimes act aggressively to protect itself. Plus, because it's harder for some wildlife to find food in the winter, they need to conserve energy in order to survive. Constantly harassing or chasing species such as moose and deer cause them to use up some of the essential fat reserves and energy they need to survive." Also, while not illegal, do not feed wildlife, as it can spread chronic wasting disease and harm the wildlife by introducing foods not typically in their winter diets. If cougars, bears or moose wander within lower elevation areas or city limits, report them. Also if they are acting aggressively, deer as well, contact the DWR. Birds of prey on the sides of the road might seem injured but it is more likely that they have gorged themselves on roadkill. Finally, if a wolf is spotted please report it so that DWR can document it as part of the statewide management plan.