How to Stay Safe Near Southern Utah’s Wildlife

by | Sep 15, 2022

Zion National Park is home to dozens of species of snakes, lizards, mammals, and more. Some of these creatures are more common than others. You’re likely to spot a rock squirrel while picnicking in the park. Or a mule deer while cruising along on your rental with Greater Zion E-Bikes at sunset. If you’re camping in the park and forget to get rid of your trash, you might even find kangaroo rats rooting around your site by morning!

Most of Zion’s critters are relatively harmless, as long as you keep your distance and avoid petting or touching them. However, there are a few animals that live in Zion that do pose a greater danger to visitors. Some are incredibly rare, like the mountain lion, while others are a bit more common, like rattlesnakes. A run-in with one of these critters could bring your fun vacation to a quick halt, leading to a trip to the ER, or even just a painful bite or sore.

However, with a few simple tips, you and your family can stay safe and enjoy wildlife from a distance during your next trip. Keep reading to learn a few tips to help you co-exist peacefully with Zion’s wildlife.

Maintain a Safe Distance

The most important thing to keep in mind when you spot wildlife in the park is to maintain a safe distance. This is true even for seemingly harmless animals, like mule deer or bighorn sheep. When provoked, these animals can charge, kick, or even bite. Getting too close also puts stress on the animals, which can lead to harm.

If you’re riding your Greater Zion E-Bike and spot wildlife, slow to a stop at a safe distance. Don’t try snapping pics or getting a closer look while on your bike, especially along roadways or trails. If an animal moves closer to you, back away slowly to keep as much distance as possible between you. As a general rule, you should stay at least 100 feet or 30 meters away from animals that are less dangerous, like deer. But for animals that are considered more dangerous, like bears or mountain lions, keep as much distance between you and them as possible.

Never Feed Wildlife — Even on Accident

It’s important to never feed wildlife of any kind in the park. Because many animals native to Zion have become accustomed to humans, they may approach you, especially if you have food. But feeding wildlife can be dangerous to both you and the animals that you feed. 

Many creatures carry diseases that can be passed along to humans. They may also bite. Additionally, human foods, including even natural foods like fruits or veggies, can be dangerous to animals and can lead to a dependence on people, reducing their ability to feed themselves.

In addition to never purposefully feeding animals, don’t forget to properly store your food while hiking or picnicking to avoid accidentally feeding animals. Always properly dispose of any food scraps or other garbage, or carry them out of the park with you if you can’t find a proper garbage can.

Keep Your Eyes on the Road

While cruising through the park on your Zion e-bike rental, it can be easy to get distracted by the stunning views. However, it’s important to keep your eyes on the road to avoid an accident with animals, other e-bikes, pedestrians, or vehicles on the roadways. During your Greater Zion E-Bike ride, continuously scan the roadways in front of you. Watch for deer and other smaller mammals that could be crossing the road, in addition to traffic and hikers.

If you do see wildlife while biking in Zion, it’s a good idea to come to a stop before trying to watch or take photos of the animal. Come to a stop slowly and in a safe location, and move away to the roadway before pulling out your phone or camera to get the perfect shot.

Booking Your Next Rental With Greater Zion E-Bikes

Hoping to spot some of Zion’s incredible wildlife during your next visit? A cruise through the park on your e-bike rental from Greater Zion E-Bikes is a great way to increase your chances! You’ll cover more ground than you could on foot, and enjoy easy access to the Lower Canyon without having to ride the shuttle buses. This means more time to zip through the park in search of mule deer, bighorn sheep, and more.

Thinking about planning a visit to Zion National Park? Fall is a great time to do so. Cooler temperatures, fewer crowds, and changing leaves make this one of the best seasons for visiting Southern Utah. Click to learn more about why you should plan a visit this season!