A Guide to Ruidoso's Incredible Wildlife

The sheer number of wildlife roaming the forests – and in the streets – of Ruidoso is astounding. Over 200 species of birds live in or migrate through the area. Elk, deer, bears, and wild horses are frequently seen in our community. With bald eagles frequently seen at Grindstone and Alto lakes, wild horse herds in the Alto area, and even the occasional mountain lion has made an appearance.  So be alert when you're out exploring – or on your deck – and keep your camera ready. 


We know that our deer and elk are very accustomed to people, but when they are fed by humans they not only lose their natural fear of us, they become dependent upon us for their meals.  An increase in their food supply leads to more frequent reproduction, therefore we have more wildlife wandering in our neighborhoods than ever. Unfortunately, they cross busy streets to get to artificial food sources and are often hit by cars. Please don't feed the wildlife.


Ruidoso is Bear Country

People love watching our bears "dumpster dive", but the same rules apply. Please do not "bait" areas in hopes of taking photos or video of wild bears. Our bears have not been known to attack people without provocation, but don't tempt fate. Again, a bear that becomes dependent upon human food becomes and nuisance and either has to be relocated or destroyed.


Wild Horse Herds in Alto

Ruidoso is home to several herds of wild horses. Some of these herds are seen in the Alto area, especially along the scenic Ski Run Road. Please drive with caution in the area.