4
| News |

Bambi shouldn't be picked up, hikers -- so keep your hands to yourselves

^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Summer beckons in Colorado's high country, which means it's time for an annual reminder to all whose usual encounters with nature don't extend beyond a petting zoo. Pawing and picking up baby wildlife, no matter how adorable or seemingly in need of rescue, is almost never a good idea. This message comes to you from conservation officials in Aspen, who recently came across hikers toting two ten-pound fawns.

The apparently well-meaning but clueless hikers came across the big-eyed megafauna on Smuggler Mountain last Friday, curled up by the side of the road. Fearing the fawns were at risk from predators and off-leash dogs, and taking to heart the mantra of Gucci-padded Pitkin County about thinking globally and acting locally, the do-gooders decided to move the animals somewhere else.

According to this account in the Aspen Times, an Aspen city ranger intercepted the deer-slingers as they were hauling Bambi & Friend down the road. He had a "long talk" with them about the wonders of the natural world and how they are best left to their own ways. He explained that young fawns actually lack scent, which helps protect them from predation; by picking up the animals and hauling them around, the hikers were compromising their safety and making it more difficult for their roaming mama to find them.

With the possible exception of baby birds who need assistance back to their nest, few critters gain from our amateur interference. An injured animal might trigger a call to the Colorado Division of Wildlife, but in most cases, wildlife fare better left alone. No petting, no snacks, and no autographs, please.

Enjoy the summer. And keep your mitts to yourself.

More from our News archive: "Wild horse roundups: Judge okays lawsuit as accounts of abuse pile up (VIDEO)."

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.