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How to stay safe around wildlife

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - It's that time of year again when animals are out of hibernation.

"Give animals their space," said Idaho Fish and Game Regional Communications Manager James Brower.

Living in Idaho or Wyoming means learning how to coexist with wildlife.

"With most wildlife, situational awareness is key," Brower said.

Animal attacks are rare in the gem state, but they can still happen. A few months ago, two brothers were attacked by a moose while snowmobiling near Palisades.

Now that it's warming up and Yellowstone National Park is crowded with visitors, officials are once again warning people to not touch nor get near the bison in the park — especially after a close call on May 20 where a woman was nearly gored after she stuck her hand out to pet a bison.

"They're beautiful, majestic animals and they can seem pretty tame," Brower said. "But they are powerful animals and they are quick."

So, what should you do if you get too close to wildlife?

James Brower said aside from giving animals their space, the best defense is bear spray. It's not just for bears — Brower says it can be used on any type of wildlife.

"I know of more people that have used that on moose in particular than they have on bears," he said. "So it works against anything that has eyes and lungs, basically. Mountain lions, bears, moose, anything that might be a threat. Get in the habit of taking that bear spray anywhere you go . . . so you can use it in a moment's notice."

So the next time you go out for a hike or head to Yellowstone, be sure to grab your bear spray.

And don't forget to give those animals their space.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho

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Emma Benson

Emma is a morning news anchor and multimedia journalist at Local News 8.


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