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Wild Mamas Very Protective

Elk Cow and Calf

The message about leaving young wildlife alone is a very familiar one this time of year.  However, those spending time in the outdoors or specifically setting out to view wildlife need to beware of the adult animals which are very protective of their young.  Already, Grand Teton National Park Spokesperson Jackie Skaggs sayspark officials have had to close a trail because of an aggressive cow elk protecting her baby.  She says the park has recently had to close the Swan Lake Trail near the Colter Bay Visitor Center because a cow elk there is being very aggressive in protecting her newborn calf.  She says people need to realize that they can have a negative impact a new mother with her young regardless of the species. Skaggs points out that some of the bears being seen near the park’s roads also have cubs making those bears more of a concern as well.  Skaggs says, “People need to keep a wide berth, especially with a mother with newborn cubs or even yearling cubs… for perhaps your safety as well as the welfare of those animals.” Skaggs also reminds that there are closures currently at Willow Flats near Jackson Lake Lodge through July 15th, on the Elk Ranch through August, at Baxter’s Pinnacle until August 15th; and temporary closures may be invoked elsewhere in the park as needed.

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