For many of us, one of the best parts of embarking on an outdoor adventure is the opportunity to see all kinds of wildlife. And if you’re an animal lover, it can feel very tempting to throw snacks an animal’s way in an effort to befriend them. However, if you love animals, then feeding them is, in fact, exactly what you should not do when you see them. Here’s why:
Animals Can Contract Diseases from Human Hands
From shower gel and perfume to bug spray, human hands can carry all kinds of things that won’t negatively impact the human carrying them but can threaten the health of animals.
Animals May Become Too Comfortable With Humans
If wild animals get used to being fed by humans, they may lose their fear of humans altogether, potentially becoming aggressive toward a human that doesn’t feed them. The animals may also start regularly coming too close to humans, ultimately putting both the human and the animal in jeopardy.
You May Contribute to Overpopulation
When food is more plentiful than is natural, then animals may start procreating more than usual. This can cause overpopulation, resulting in problems that range from territorial aggression to an influx of diseases and disruption of the food chain.
Some Human Food is Bad for Animals
Just because an animal finds certain foods tasty, doesn’t mean it’s good for them. For instance, many people feed bread to ducks, which the ducks eagerly munch on. However, too much bread can lead to ducks becoming malnourished or overweight, both of which make them more susceptible to predators.
Animals Can Become Habituated to Being Fed
When animals get too used to not having to find food because it’s handed to them, it can disrupt their natural cycles. There’s evidence, for example, that Canada Geese who live in environments where they’re fed a lot are no longer compelled to migrate away from these areas each year as they normally would.
Animals May Migrate to Dangerous Areas
Speaking of migration, if animals become accustomed to being fed by humans, they may begin migrating to areas heavily populated by said humans. This can put them at risk of being unlawfully hunted or hit by cars. It can also put humans and domestic animals in danger.
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