It is not uncommon to see the other “Breckenridge locals,” also known as fox, scurrying around town, or the cute bears deep in the forest or a moose and her calf wandering through lawns and across streets. But what most people may not know are the dangers associated with wildlife encounters. Here are few tips that you “moose” know when you see wildlife in Breckenridge.

1. Red Fox:

Red fox are beautiful animals and can make for an enjoyable watchable wildlife experience. In all red fox have a characteristic white-tipped tail. Photo courtesy of DOW

Red fox are beautiful animals and can make for enjoyable wildlife viewing. All red fox have a characteristic white-tipped tail. Photo courtesy of DPW.

The red fox is probably the most commonly seen wildlife around Breckenridge. Feeding wildlife may be well intended, but it is harmful to the animals and can be dangerous for humans. In many parts of Colorado, the intentional feeding of red fox is illegal and should be reported. Avoid coming into contact with the red fox; they can carry a number of diseases such as rabies and mange. Be cautious of your pets coming into contact with wildlife as well. Report to the nearest Division of Wildlife office and the local animal control agency if any red fox appears to be sick, acting differently or is aggressive.

2. Bears:

Black bears are curious, smart and very adaptable. They are active from mid-March through

Every bear’s goal is to get fat enough to live through the winter. Photo by David Hannigan

Every bear’s goal is to get fat enough to live through the winter. Photo by David Hannigan.

early November. Most conflicts between people and bears can be traced to easily accessible human food, garbage, pet food, bird seed or other attractants. Bears that get access to those foods or become too comfortable around people can destroy property or even become a threat to human safety.

  • Don’t feed bears, and don’t put out food for other wildlife that attracts bears.
  • Be responsible about trash and bird feeders.
  • Burn food off barbecue grills and clean after each use.
  • Keep all bear-accessible windows and doors closed and locked.
  • Don’t leave food, trash, coolers. air fresheners or anything that smells in your vehicle. A bear can smell food up to 5 miles away.

If you see a bear or it comes near your home, do your best to chase it away; yell, blow a whistle, clap your hands or make other loud noises. Never approach or corner a bear.

3. Moose:

Moose can weigh at an average of 800-1,200 pounds and stand up to 6 feet tall at the shoulder, not an animal to be messed with.

Moose can weigh an average of 800-1,200 pounds and stand up to 6 feet tall at the shoulder; they’re not animals to mess with.

Moose are very curious and will often approach humans or houses or even look into windows. It is very important to understand behavior of moose. Female moose (cows) are extremely protective of their young (calves) and can become very aggressive, and male moose (bulls) are aggressive during breeding season, which is mid-September through October. Keep pets away, as moose can get aggressive around them. If threatened by a moose, stay clam, do not run away, talk, make your presence known and slowly back off in the direction you came, and lastly, avoid animals that are behaving out of the ordinary or belligerently.

4. Porcupines:

A single porcupine has approximately 15,000 to 30,000 quills. Each quill is barbed with tiny hooks at the end. The quills are extremely sharp and will work into the flesh of any animal or human within sticking distance while the porcupine is spinning and slapping its tail. Contrary to belief, the animal cannot throw its quills. If your pet is attacked by a porcupine, immediately call the Breckenridge Animal Clinic.

Information provided by Colorado Parks & Wildlife. Contact them with any concerns or incident reports here.

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