Think Of Wildlife When Decorating For Holidays

By Laura Bailey
THE COLORADO Division of Wildlife is asking people to be mindful of wildlife while putting up outdoor Christmas displays this year.

Every year wildlife officers are called to help free animals caught in lights and decorations, but the division is trying to reduce such mishaps by instructing people how to safely decorate.

To help reduce the number of the incidents, the division is asking people to follow the following tips:

  • Avoid stringing lights clotheslines-style across the yard.
  • Place flagging along wired decorations so deer can see where the wire is.
  • Use multiple strands of wire plugged together versus one long strand so that if animals become entangled they have less wire get out of.

  • String lights on trees with larger trunks, or more than six inches in diameter. Such trees are less likely to be rubbed by bucks who get antlers entangled in the lights.

Also the division is cautioning people not to approach or try to help an entangled animal, because greater injury to the animal or to the person could result.

“Definitely do not approach an animal on your own,” said spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill. “They’re stressed out from having that stuff on them and they shouldn’t be near people in general,” she said.

In the majority of cases, the animal will work itself out of the lights its own, Churchill said. “Nine times out of ten, if it’s an antler situation they will come off,” she said. If it appears the animal is being constricted and cannot breathe or eat, citizens should call the division for help.