Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Don’t feed wildlife. That rule includes pizza. And apparently some of us have to be told.
Yesterday, a Colorado park ranger stumbled upon an interesting situation, one where visitors were feeding pizza to a moose. If you need a quick reminder, there’s this very important rule in the outdoors: don’t feed wildlife.
Ranger Ben Stanley of Jefferson County in Colorado reported that he was on patrol when a few visitors told him there was a moose in the area, and that people were feeding it.
When he pulled up to one car, they told him, “Hey I’m really glad you’re here because there’s some people feeding a moose some pizza right over there,” Stanley reported to Denver FOX31.
Stanley reported that when he arrived a the scene, about a dozen people were crowding around a young moose at a picnic area.
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“One person was trying to pet it. I didn’t see the pizza but I had quite a few people tell me that there was somebody trying to feed this moose some pizza,” he told reporters.
After he arrived, Stanley said the moose got scared and fled into the woods. No one — or moose — was harmed.
If you aren’t sure of the proper way to interact with wildlife, err on the side of caution and give them some space. The rules of social distancing can apply to both humans and animals.
In Colorado state parks, feeding big-game animals is illegal and carries a $100 fine. In Jefferson County, where this pizza incident took place, feeding any wildlife carries a $50 fine. No one was issued a citation in this incident.
By Mary Murphy
Mary is based out of GearJunkie’s Denver, CO office. Her outdoor interests span from climbing to landscape photography to pack-paddleboarding. If she’s not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.