Wildlife encounters are a normal part of camping, but then what kind of attitude should we adopt towards wild animals? Not only should humans be empathetic to others, but to animals as well. Research shows that animals experience emotion. And, humans who are gentle and respectful to animals are more likely to be respectful and empathetic to humans.
- Don't feed wildlife
Feeding wildlife creates an expectation that they can receive food from you (and other campers) in the future. This can make them persistent and sometimes violent, and may attract wildlife to your site.
- Avoid contact with wildlife
While it is certainly tempting to approach wildlife, this can be very dangerous.
- Keep a safe distance
When watching wildlife, make sure to keep a safe distance. Your park may or may not have recommended viewing distances regarding certain wildlife.
- Avoid attracting wildlife to your campsite
Keep food secured in airtight containers. Not only will it be fresher, it will attract less unwanted attention from wildlife. Keep your food out of reach of wildlife. Generally, food can be stored in your car, but certain campgrounds may require the use of food storage lockers or other means of keeping food out of reach of wildlife. Keep your campsite clean. Collect any food packaging and food scraps in a waste bag and dispose of the waste in the campground's receptacle before you leave the camp or turn in for the night. Do not feed wildlife. Not only will they become more aggressive toward you, they will be more likely to be a nuisance for campers who use the site after you. Do not take food inside your tent. While it's tempting to have that midnight snack on hand, it will attract wildlife.