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DENVER (KDVR) — Now that spring has sprung in Colorado, new life is popping up everywhere. Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds Coloradans and visitors to use caution when in open space and viewing wildlife.

“This time of year is when a lot of our birds and mammals give birth,” CPW’s Jason Clay said.

It’s a precious time for those growing mountain families and outsiders aren’t welcomed.

“Our moose deer and elk those mothers can be very protective and will defend any perceived threat that they see to their young,” Clay said.

In just the past week, CPW said there was a moose attack in Steamboat and an elk attack in Evergreen. While those are believed to be accidents, wildlife officials say there are ways to cut down your chances of problems.

“Every year we get that viral video that comes out of people trying to pet these wild animals or get too close with a selfie and they get attacked,” Clay said.

Rule number one is don’t get too close. “What we say sometimes is if you put your thumb out and you can cover that whole animal with your thumb then in a lot of ways you’re probably at a safe distance,” Clay said. “Is your presence affecting their behavior? Are you noticing those animals looking at you? Are they changing how they’re eating or feeding?” Clay said.

And rule number two if you have a dog, keep it on a leash if there’s a chance you’re in moose, elk, or deer territory.