“As you get people off trails and reduce the amount of human activity and movement in some of these rural-urban areas, wildlife really seem to key into that,” says Montana State University wildlife researcher Tony Clevenger to Discover magazine’s Leslie Nemo.
Elk have been spotted using sidewalks in Canadian towns like Banff, near Banff National Park, CBC reports. In South Africa’s Kruger National Park, park ranger Richard Sowry spotted lions napping along the road, per the BBC. And bear sightings have increased near Yosemite’s Ahwahnee Hotel.
“It’s not like they aren’t usually here,” Dane Peterson, who works at the hotel, told the Los Angeles Times in April. “It’s that they usually hang back at the edges, or move in the shadows.”