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Animal Awareness

Voted the #1 National Park for viewing wildlife, Grand Teton National Park is home to year-round moose, bison, elk, bear, pronghorn, eagle, and various other birds and animal species. Needless to say, the opportunities to view wildlife here are endless.

With this opportunity comes obligation. As millions visit Grand Teton National Park each season, we must all learn to respect wildlife in their “home environment.”

Our awareness message is simple—observe wildlife from a distance. Which means use a zoom camera or binoculars when viewing wildlife, and always stay at least a football field away from their location!

Important things to Remember:

The Park is Not a Petting Zoo -Animals here are not tame, no matter how docile they may appear. Although a car doesn’t offer complete protection, it is a much safer viewing point than standing alongside an animal.

If an Animal Changes It's Behavior, You Are Too Close
 – When wildlife look up or stop any action, it means they are assessing danger. Although your actions may seem harmless, your encounter may have adverse affects long after your visit.
Use the Rule of Thumb – hold your thumb up at arm’s distance between you and the animal. If your thumb covers the outline of the animal, you are a good distance away.

Never Feed Animals – Animals here are wild. Feeding them changes their instinct and behavior for foraging, thus putting them at risk. We encourage you to not feed anything ever, even a scrap or a potato chip to a squirrel.

Be Bear Aware – Grand Teton National Park is home to many bears. Bears have very keen smell, and can be attracted by un-kept campsites and improperly disposed garbage. Please help protect them, and you, by properly storing your food, drinks, coolers, toiletries, trash, dishes and pet food in your vehicle or campsite bear box. Your efforts can help save a bear!

Please SLOW DOWN! - On average in the greater Yellowstone eco-system, one large animal is struck by a car every day. The impact of hitting a moose can equal that of hitting a small car. Protect yourself and your property by driving cautiously and watching out for wildlife.
Wildlife are most active on the road during dawn and dusk.
Most animals have reflective eyes (except Moose), so keep a lookout along the road.
To avoid hitting animals: slow down to 40-45 mph on dry pavement, and reduce speed to 30 mph on wet pavement or during poor lighting conditions.

Pets in the Park - You are welcome to travel with your pet in the Tetons.  However, please be aware that the National Park Service does have strict regulations on where you can take your pet, for the safety of both your pet and the wildlife.  View Pet-Friendly Accommodations & National Park Service Regulations

Remember, this is their home—please be respectful. Often wildlife is just as startled to see you, as you are excited to see them.