Since the stay-at-home order has been in place, there have been a lot of people in Colorado reporting wildlife sightings right in their front and back yards.

From mountain lions wandering through a Boulder neighborhood to bobcats running across porches and elk grazing on people's lawns – are these appearances due to less humans being out and about, or are we just observing more natural life now that most of us are stuck inside looking out at the world around us?

Colorado Parks and Wildlife recently explained how wildlife in our area is actually impacted by the stay-at-home order.

While it may seem like there's been an increase in wildlife within neighborhoods and parks and a biologist with CPW claims there has possibly been some short-term movement due to lessening human presence, human quarantine would have to continue for years for these animals to truly change their behaviors. Animals do learn to adapt, but it's very gradual and happens over time.

CPW has not noticed wildlife activity that's outside of normal behavior for this time of year. More likely, they explained the situation as some species just being opportunistic than others. With less people in urban areas, parks and open spaces, animals don't feel as disturbed and will take advantage of these areas that provide them with food, shelter and water. Basically, animals feel more comfortable since humans aren't around to disrupt them.

What's also happening is that because people are home more often and able to keep an eye on our surroundings, we are observing more. In reality, the animals have probably always been around, they just usually go undetected.

CPW notes that people should not call to report normal wildlife sightings in their neighborhood, especially if the animals are doing something expected, such as feeding, resting or moving across the landscape. If, however, an animal like a mountain lion or bear is within close proximity to humans, that is grounds for making a report. Never approach or feed wildlife, and keep your pets inside if you do notice any wild animals frequenting your area.

Animals of the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

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