Calling Rangers with Wildlife Concerns
By Matt Oven, Park Ranger Supervisor
Ken-Caryl Ranch Park Rangers have received several injured wildlife calls in the past few weeks, mainly regarding mule deer. When a wildlife injury call is received, rangers may investigate or determine over the phone if the animal should be left alone to “let nature take its course”, advise to take it to a licensed rehabilitator or determine if it will need to be euthanized. The rangers use the same policy as Colorado Parks and Wildlife. If a deer/elk is injured, but can still feed and walk on its own, then we “let nature take its course.” However, if the deer/elk is injured to the point it cannot feed or walk on its own, listing to one side, head/ears lowered, then the rangers will respond to euthanize the animal (if on duty) or direct the caller to contact Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
- Park Rangers will only handle deer/elk. As time allows, a report of an injured or sick deer will be reviewed and any dead deer will be removed as soon as possible depending on the time of day and availability of the park ranger on duty. Many factors play into the response time, including where the ranger is on the trails, proximity to a truck, time of day, etc.
- Jefferson County Animal Control (3030-271-5070) will remove any dead animals and advise on any other injured animals for example, rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, etc.
Ken-Caryl Ranch Park Rangers keep a call log when reports come in referencing sightings and or concerns about animals in the open space. The log assists the rangers in detecting a pattern of behavior or injured activity of a certain animal and can report that information to follow-up calls by staff, Colorado Wildlife Officers or Ken-Caryl Ranch members.
Due to infectious diseases and calls in the past, park rangers will advise the resident to contact Jefferson County Animal Control and they may assist with any concerns and/or advise them to call to the Jefferson County Health Department or Colorado Parks and Wildlife. If you have any questions, feel free to call the Rangers at 303-979-1876, ext. 170.