A walk in the wild - how to ensure safety for us and its inhabitants?

A walk for us, but a home for the animals!

Forests provide habitats for wildlife that may be disturbed by human presence and unexpectedly become aggressive or hurt by their efforts to avoid it. It is always necessary to keep a distance from wild animals so that they are not afraid or forced to flee.

The consequences of approaching wildlife can be serious. You are responsible for both your own safety and their own. Wild animals should be allowed to feed, care for their young, sleep and play without human disturbance.

Learn more about wildlife by watching it quietly. Do not disturb animals or plants just because of their good appearance. Large groups of people often cause more damage to the environment and can disrupt wildlife, so keep your group small. If you have a larger group of people, separate as much as possible to minimize anxiety about your surroundings.

There is an exception for making noise when entering an area where bears are suspected. Making noise prevents the ability to startle a nearby bear.

Fast movements and loud noises are stressful for animals. Walk quietly and do not chase, feed or force animals to flee. In hot or cold weather, anxiety can affect an animal's ability to withstand harsh environments. Do not touch, approach or pick up wild animals. This is stressful for the animal and it may carry diseases. Young animals removed or touched by well-meaning people can cause the animal's parents to abandon them. Sick or injured animals can bite, peck or scratch, ie. to injure you, which may require medical attention.

Attentive campers observe wildlife from afar, give animals plenty of space, keep food safe and keep food waste and scraps away from animals. Remember, you are a visitor to their home!

Allow animals free access to water sources by giving them the buffer space they need to feel safe. This will minimize wildlife disturbance and ensure that animals have access to their valuable drinking water.

Washing and disposing of human waste must be done carefully so as not to pollute the environment and injure animals and aquatic life. Wild animals, especially bears, should never be allowed to eat human food or waste. Wild animals that have been fed this type of food, even once, can become aggressive towards humans, and then, in order to protect humans and their property, these animals may need to be shot. Keep human food and waste away from all wildlife!

Cases in which we may inadvertently injure animals are:

  • In close contact with a wild animal, it can become more vulnerable to predators because it is distracted by human presence or has acquired a human odor;
  • Human presence, which worries wildlife, can lead to the forced abandonment of nests and / or lairs, as well as leaving an area where there is enough food and settling another, which reduces the chances of survival;
  • When food is left near roads, which increases the chances of vehicle accidents;
  • Leaving food in boxes and improperly disposing of waste can lead to the eating of aluminum foil, plastic or other packaging by animals, as they may try to eat any smelly object. This can seriously damage the animal's digestive system and even cause death;
  • In general, human food can cause tooth decay, ulcers, horn malformations, arthritis or other wildlife diseases;
  • Feeding or approaching wildlife not only interferes with their natural activities, but is also a major cause of conflict, leading to serious injury or death to both humans and animals.

Many wildlife visitors mistakenly believe that there are specific gestures and warning signals that wildlife makes that will give people time to retreat to safety. Wild animals are individualistic and unpredictable. Animals that ignore you, seem calm or friendly, can attack suddenly and without warning.

Injuries to humans often occur when an animal responds to a perceived threat with instinctive "fight or flight" behavior - people are injured simply because they are in the animal's path. A car horn, a barking dog or excited children can provoke aggressive animal behavior.

If an animal approaches you, it is your responsibility to move away to maintain a safe distance. Your safety is your responsibility!

Following these tips will help you protect yourself from potentially unpleasant experiences, as well as protect wildlife when picnicking or camping:

Move away to maintain a safe distance. Your safety is your responsibility!

Following these tips will help you protect yourself from potentially unpleasant experiences, as well as protect wildlife when picnicking or camping:

  • Maintaining the cleanliness of the place by cleaning well after the stay and disposing of food and food waste properly;
  • Do not leave food or waste in fireplaces, grills or near your accommodation;
  • Do not leave food or cooler bags unattended
  • Dispose of waste in sustainable containers. When such are not available, food and waste should be stored in a vehicle with a hard top or be loaded high (wood, etc.). Everything with strong odors (toothpaste, insect repellent, soap, etc.) also needs to be hung high.
  • Never store food in the tent;
  • Eating and cooking away from the tent as the clothes you are cooking with should be changed immediately afterwards;
  • Never approach a wild animal;
  • Keep dogs and other pets under control;
  • Don't walk in the dark.