Officials offer safety reminders as hibernation season ends

Every spring, Colorado Parks and Wildlife says it typically gets an increase in calls.

The department is reminding people spending time outdoors, that April is often when bears come out of hibernation and newborn wildlife emerges.

“Around this time of year is when we start seeing more human conflicts with wildlife," Travis Duncan of Colorado Parks and Wildlife said.

If someone comes across a young wild animal they think could be abandoned or hurt, he warns against touching it.

“By handling it, you’re putting your human scent on it and making it so the mother might not return, might not recognize its own baby," Duncan said.

Instead, Duncan suggests checking in on the animal, if possible, for 24 hours before calling the department for help.

He also notes that the state is noticing an increase in moose encounters.

“They can be quite territorial, especially if you have a dog. Moose see dogs as a natural predator as a wolf," Duncan said.

He urges pet owners to keep dogs on a leash, and to give moose plenty of space. If it seems distressed, he suggests putting an object between you and the animal.

“Put a large object like a rock or a tree between you and that moose," Duncans said. "It’s best to just try and back away from that moose.”

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