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Wildlife Stewardship Campaign

How Close is Too Close?

How Close is Too Close?

Dangerously Close

howcloseAnimals that live in forests, parks and refuges are wild.  Even though they may look or act tame, they are not.  Many wildlife professionals recommend remaining a minimum of 100 yards away from bears and 25 yards from other large animals.  A safe distance should also be maintained from small animals, such as squirrels, mice and raccoons.  Follow local wildlife management guidelines.

The consequences of approaching or feeding wildlife can be serious.  You are responsible for your own safety as well as the safety of wildlife.  Wild animals should be allowed to forage for food, care for their your, sleep and play without human disturbance.

Wildlife + Distance = Safety

For Both People and Wildlife

Animals that are approached too closely may:

  • Run into traffic and get hit by vehicles
  • Lose footing on cliffs and fall.
  • Become separated from their young or forced to abandon their nests or dens.
  • Become more vulnerable to predators because they are distracted by people or acquire a human scent.
  • Abandon an important food source, reducing their chances for survival.

Your safety and the safety of your
personal property cannot be guaranteed.


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Chuck Bartlebaugh is now with the Be Bear Aware Campaign
and can be reached at 406-239-2315 or by email at

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