Wildlife Do's and Dont's

When it comes to enjoying the wildlife found in our state parks, here are some general guidelines to keep both your family and our furry friends happy and healthy.Baby Raccoons at Edisto

DON’T

  • Don’t feed the wildlife. Feeding the animals may be fun and seem harmless, but it teaches our wildlife that people mean food. In the future, they may aggressively approach people looking for food - which is dangerous for them and park visitors. Unfortunately, people may get hurt and the animals euthanized to ensure public safety… even though it’s not really the animals’ fault.
  • Don’t tease, chase or follow animals very closely. This frightens the animals and may result in them getting badly hurt as they try to escape. Some wildlife species are also protected from this kind of disturbance through various federal laws.
  • Don’t touch them. All wild animals will defend themselves if they feel threatened.
  • Don’t pick up baby animals or take them home. They are cute, but their parents think so too, so please leave them alone. If you have a reason to believe that the mother was injured or killed, please tell a park ranger.

DO

  • Observe our wildlife at a respectful distance – where your presence doesn’t disturb them. This way you can both enjoy the day. Bring binoculars and field guides and practice your identification skills. See how many types of birds and other animals you can find and name.
  • Take pictures so that you can treasure and share these moments for years to come.
  • Participate in our ranger programs to learn more about the parks’ wildlife.
  • Visit the park nature centers. Some have touch tanks, providing hands-on opportunities.
  • Drive slowly and watch out for wildlife crossing the park roads. Remember that this is their home. We’re just visiting.
  • Report any injured animals to a ranger.

By following these simple rules you will help ensure your safety and the safety of the animals who call the parks their home.