COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Rampart Range herd of bighorn sheep has been active at Garden of the Gods recently, and Thursday’s snow provided a particularly spectacular backdrop for these majestic animals.
“These majestic animals are a rare treat to see in Colorado and often attract herds of people when they make their appearance,” the Trails and Open Space Coalition said in a Facebook post. “When viewing wildlife, please do so respectfully. The actions of wildlife viewers impact other users as well as the wildlife.”
They offered these reminders for viewing the sheep and other Colorado wildlife:
- Keep 100 feet (or the length of three school buses) between you and the sheep.
- Human interactions cause a great deal of stress on bighorn sheep. From 100 feet away, try to keep your viewing to less than 2 minutes. Consider using binoculars or a spot scope from a further distance to watch the sheep.
- In the Garden of the Gods, do not park along the road or in bike lanes to view the sheep.
- Stay on marked trails. Leaving the trail will stress the sheep and cause damage to the plants along the trail.
- We all have seen videos of tourists being attacked by bison when they got too close. Don’t be the laughing stock of YouTube. Don’t approach the sheep or try to feed them.
- When posting to social media, consider not posting the exact location or trail you watched from. Posting exact locations of wildlife could lead to swarms of people and more stress to the wildlife and their habitats.