Always Photograph Wildlife from a Safe Distance

Colorado is home to one of the most abundant and diverse wildlife populations in the world. From deer and elk to bighorn sheep and moose, more than 960 species live in our great state. While this makes for an exciting opportunity to view and photograph wildlife, it’s important that you act responsibly to avoid potentially dangerous human and animal conflicts. When photographing with their cell phones and cameras, people often get too close to wild animals. And these close encounters can result in serious injuries for both wildlife and humans. If an attack occurs, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is required to euthanize the animal – even if the attack was provoked because a person got too close. Please help us protect wildlife by taking some simple precautions.

  1. Follow the rule of thumb!
    With your arm fully extended, you should be able to cover the entire animal with your thumb. Generally, this means that you are more than 25 yards away from most wildlife and between 25- 100 yards away from moose and other big game animals.
    Distance Estimates
  2. Watch the Animals Behavior
    It’s very important to watch an animal’s behavior.  If an animal reacts to your presence or shows any signs of aggression, you are too close and you should slowly back away.Untitled-1.jpg

Always treat Colorado’s wildlife with the respect that they deserve and always photograph wild animals from a safe distance. Colorado Parks and Wildlife thanks you for your cooperation.


Blog post, photos and video by Jerry Neal. Neal is the senior videographer and a media specialist for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. 

One comment

  • Excellent information. It’s also important to avoid getting too close to nesting birds. They may abandon the nests and any young birds still in it.

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