Winter is tough on wildlife – You can help

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – With winter taking a brief break, it is a good time to remember that wildlife never gets one when it comes to weather conditions.

Wyoming Game and Fish officials are asking residents in the Jackson and Wilson areas to be aware and show patience with moose and other wildlife that often show up in developed areas during the winter months. The Jackson Game and Fish office has received numerous calls from concerned citizens about moose and other wildlife in residential areas, prompting them to offer advice on how to avoid problems with these animals.

Wildlife officials say due to the amount of snow the area has received, moose and other wildlife are regularly using the plowed roads and groomed trails in the area, as it is the path of least resistance for them at this point.

“It really is a matter of simply being aware and giving animals plenty of room,” said Kyle Lash, South Jackson Game Warden for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. “We often don’t expect to see these animals in our neighborhood or developed areas, but this time of year we should be more cognizant of that possibility.”

Wildlife officials are asking residents to be wary and exhibit patience when encountering wildlife.

“Generally, these animals are not going to pose a threat to anyone as long as we give them their space, control our pets around them and so on,” Lash explained. “However, if an animal is charging people or posing a serious threat, we want to know about it and we will respond.”

Wildlife officials acknowledge that wildlife, such as moose, can be potentially dangerous and offer these tips to avoid a conflict:

  • Be especially watchful during times of low light. Moose can be difficult to see at night.
  • Look for tracks or other signs of moose on trails, pathways or around houses.
  • Never crowd an animal or surround it.
  • Always allow an animal an escape route.
  • Always control pets while walking them and make sure there are no wildlife around before letting animals out of the house.
  • View and photograph animals from a distance.
  • Do not feed wildlife.

Similarly, Game and Fish officials are also asking area motorists to be wary and exhibit patience to avoid collisions with wildlife.

“Wildlife are regularly using area roadways this time of year and can be especially hard to see in low light situations,” Lash said. “We really need to slow down and give ourselves plenty of braking distance, especially on potentially slick roads.”

For more information on how to avoid conflicts with wildlife you may contact the Wyoming Game and Fish Department office at 1-800-423-4113 or 307-733-2321 in Jackson.

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