From bath time to dinner time, animals of all kinds are caught on camera at Roxborough State Park. We get to see the curious critters in action thanks to Colorado Parks and Wildlife Ranger Tiffany McCauley.
"I'm a wildlife preservation-based ranger," she said. "I do a lot of education, telling people about geology and why Roxborough State Park is so unique to Colorado."
Ranger Tiffany captures a lot of that uniqueness using about a dozen wildlife cameras she carefully places in undisclosed parts of the park. She said she often positions the cams near water.
"Water is something all wildlife needs, so water usually gets you that really good variety," she told CBS4's Kelly Werthmann.
From fat-for-the-winter bears to slender weasels, Ranger Tiffany's cameras capture animals of all shapes and sizes. Her personal favorite? A family of black bears she watched grow last summer.
"I had those two cubs and their mom, and I monitored from the time they came out of the den to the time they went back to hibernation in the fall," Ranger Tiffany explained. "A lot of our wildlife comes and goes. Those cubs and that sow stayed here, and I was able to watch them go from 10 pounds to yearlings that are now off on their own."
Chances are you've seen Ranger Tiffany's wildlife videos before – they're wildly popular on Twitter. Baby bears tend to be the most viewed, but the bobcats, mountain lions, elk, deer, and more are enjoyed as well.
"When someone sees a bear in person, sometimes they're frightened. They're so frightened they forget to enjoy the moment and have a respect for that animal. When you get to watch it on a screen, you feel safer, so you're more likely to enjoy that moment," she said. "I really hope people can watch those videos and fall in love with those animals just like I did."
Ranger Tiffany's love for animals goes beyond what she captures on camera in Colorado. She also travels around the world to care for wildlife.
"Last winter I went to Bolivia, and I worked at a wildlife sanctuary called Communidad Intiwarayassi," she said.
The sanctuary is an organization that gives large cats – like pumas and ocelots – a second chance at life, Ranger Tiffany explained. Many of the animals are rescued from poachers, and for five weeks she worked with other volunteers to provide much-needed care.
"I just want to feel like I'm physically making a difference," she said. "I study mountain lions here [in Colorado]. This gave me an opportunity to go and physically work with them, monitor behavior, see how they interact with people and with each other, too."
Everything Ranger Tiffany learns, she's eager to share. From Twitter to the trails, it's her way of showing us how important it is to protect our wildlife.
"It's Colorado's duty to make that a priority," she said. "I think everybody needs to have that respect for these animals, and one of the best ways that I've shown people is to engage them in it. Like with my videos, it makes them feel like they're a part of it."
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