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How to safely live with Colorado wildlife

DENVER -- We'll be seeing more wildlife in the metro area in the coming weeks, a sign of Colorado's spring season.

Would you know what to do if you woke up and found a family of wild animals like foxes sharing your yard? That's what happened to one family in Thornton.

State wildlife officials tell the FOX31 Problem Solvers you should be prepared in the event wild animals show up at your home.

Many families discover foxes, raccoons and other animals taking shelter under decks and in yard structures.

Rebecca Ferrell of Colorado Parks and Wildlife tells the Problem Solvers "wildlife is wild and they need to stay that way."

Although it is tempting to get a close look at these incredible animals, wildlife experts advise staying at least 50 feet away from them.

A camera's lens can capture their beauty, but drones can serve to harass the animals if they cause them to alter their normal behavior.

Ferrell also warns against feeding wild animals, which is illegal. "Once animals are acclimated to humans they lose their natural fear of us. There's a reason you can't go into a pet store and find 'Duck Chow' or 'Elk Chow,' their bodies aren't set up to process things outside of nature."

She adds that it is never a good idea to attempt to make a wild animal into a pet. Doing so can yield dangerous results.

If you would like animals like deer to refrain from destroying landscaping, experts advise planting naturally occurring plants they enjoy in the high country to draw them away from other foliage. For more information about safe cohabitation with Colorado's wildlife visit the Parks and Wildlife website.

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