Spending time in Greer, Arizona and the surrounding White Mountains offers an abundance of enjoyable nature experiences. Rich, untamed land offers beautiful views and scores of fun outdoor activities. But another great experience you’ll find in Greer are the numerous wildlife sightings you’ll likely encounter on your daily excursions. Over 400 species call the area home, ranging from deer to wolves, mountain lions to goats, majestic wild horses, and tons of graceful birds and frantic squirrels. While there may be an instinctual urge to chase after the animals or befriend them, great care should be taken to respect their habitat and enjoy viewing the animals from a safe distance.
Here are a few pointers on how you should prepare for the wildlife in Greer:
1. ? Do not taunt the animals.
2. ✋ Do not touch the animals (even the ever-so-friendly looking horses).
3. ? Stay quiet and at a safe distance to capture the moment.
4. ? Stay inside your vehicle, especially when viewing large predators like bears or coyotes.
5. ? Do not feed the animals.
6. ? Do not pull over or abruptly stop traffic. Follow safe driving practices.
7. ? Do not interfere with mating, predation, or other natural behaviors.
8. ? Preserve the habitat by following “leave no trace” principles (please do NOT litter).
9. ?Do not turn your back on wildlife (for example, to take a selfie. Instead photograph the animals from a safe distance while keeping an eye out for safety).
10. ? Direct eye contact is often a behavior in establishing or challenging dominance, therefore, avoid eye contact with wild animals.
Viewing wildlife in their natural habitat leaves the watcher with a positive, unforgettable, and personal experience, and often drives people to be more caring and respectful to wildlife and habitat conservation in general. As the human population continues to grow and habitats shrink, fostering concern and action on behalf of the animal kingdom will benefit all who live on this planet, regardless of what type of animal you are!
? Remember, if you BBQ outside do not leave dirty plates or food outdoors, as this will attract bears, which have a heightened great sense of smell and will certainly come sniffing for leftovers. If you are confronted by a bear, note that they can be scared away by loud noises and spreading your arms out wide to appear bigger.
Tip: For the best time to view deer, choose either dawn or dusk, as that is when they’re most active.
As you’ll find when visiting the White Mountains and Greer, the animal sighting opportunities range far and wide. Having the opportunity to see these creatures in their natural habitats is a very rewarding and fun experience. Therefore, please take great care to protect the wildlife of our small town in Arizona by following these safe tips.
Photo credits: Albert’s Squirrel by Gregory S. Porter // Bighorn Sheep by David Cardinal