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Wildlife Safety Tips

With Aspen being one of the most desirable destinations to discover the great outdoors, it’s a good thing to keep in mind that humans aren’t the only residents exploring this area. Whether you’re hiking through the mountains or taking a stroll through town, it’s not uncommon to encounter wildlife, especially during the summer months. Before your next outing, be sure to remember these safety tips that will keep both you and wildlife safe.


Smaller furry mammals - chipmunks, squirrels, raccoons, fox, and deer – are just some of the more well known wildlife that reside in Aspen, and will most likely make their way closer to town. Although these little creatures are adorable, it’s crucial not to make them feel threatened by touching or chasing them, as they are wild and will defend themselves.

Most of the time, Colorado’s large mammals like elk, bears, or cats, are tucked away in the mountains, and occasionally they might head closer to town. Elk are beautiful animalsproviding quite the sight to see. The spring and fall are seasons for mating and calving, and therefore, it’s vital that spectators take precautions, as Elk can be more aggressive during these times. If the larger creatures like bears or cats get too close to your home, don’t approach or corner them, and be sure to call Aspen Police Department if you feel they are a threat. Here is a list of how to stay safe while out-and-about and in their terrain:


  • Avoid eye contact
  • Walk away slowly
  • Fight back if attacked
  • Don’t run
  • Do not feed

Mountain Lions:

  • Act like a predator – maintain eye contact, don’t run, don’t bend over, wave your raised arms
  • Make yourself appear larger
  • Make noise
  • Fight back

Other General Safety Tips For All Wildlife:

  • Do not touch or approach wildlife.
  • Do not chase wildlife. Keep pets on leashes. 
  • Maintain a safe distance. Use binoculars or a zoom lens to get a better look.
  • Be alert – if an animal appears startled or changes it’s behavior, or walks away, you are too close.
  • Never feed the wildlife, no matter how accustomed they are