Elk mating season closes parts of Rocky Mountain National Park

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ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. (KDVR) — Closures are in place for foot and horse travel off established roadways or designated trails during the elk rut season, Rocky Mountain National Park officials announced Monday.

The closures are in effect from every day from 5 p.m. to 10 a.m. and last through Oct. 31 in Horseshoe Park, Upper Beaver Meadows, Moraine Park, Harbison Meadow and Holzwarth Meadow.

Fishing is closed from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. within the posted areas of Fall River, Thompson River and Colorado River, remaining the same as previous years.

The purpose of the closures is to prevent the disturbance and harassment of elk during their fall mating period and to enhance visitor elk viewing opportunities, RMNP officials say. 

Approaching wildlife is prohibited

Approaching, viewing or engaging in any activity within 25 yards of wildlife is prohibited inside the park. Penalties for those who are reported could include a fine or even jail time.

Getting too close to wildlife can be very dangerous, especially during the rut. The rule of thumb is to hold your thumb up over the animal at a distance. If your thumb covers the animal’s body entirely, you are likely a safe distance away.

It is also important to remember to never feed wild animals. Do not risk your safety to take a photo of an animal.

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