Why You Should Not Feed Wild Animals

Why You Should Not Feed Wild Animals
I remember being a little boy crying as I watched a zoo monkey eat my chocolate ice cream bar. Animal natural instincts are designed for their own survival, which means fulfilling their basic needs, including food and water. They will do anything it takes to get food, learning and adapting from each new experience. US Geological Survey wants to make it very clear to prohibit any feeding of wildlife. I wish to quickly cover three points why you should not feed wild animals. One, feeding wildlife disrupts natural cycles, creating dependencies. Two, it is unsafe for both you and the animal. Three, processed human food is unhealthy for wild animals. If you do your part by not feeding wild animals and letting your friends and family know how important it is, nature will remain in harmony.
My first point, feeding wildlife disrupts natural cycles. Wild animals will learn to come to humans for food. If constantly rewarded with food when they approach humans, animals will learn how easy it is to gain food, and move out of their natural habitat into human populated areas. Their natural habitat then looses the presence of that animal, disrupting the food chain in that area. This potentially may lead to the extinction or overpopulation of other animals, the harmony of nature is disrupted which is very harmful to the environment. These spoiled animals will learn to trust humans, and become dependent on them. They may lose their natural defenses when they become trusting of humans. If the humans leave the area, their food source will be cut off, and they may not be able to return to the natural way of finding food, killing off the animals. The tools of daily humans living are dangerous to wildlife, such as cars, pets, or pollution.

This leads me to my second point, feeding wildlife is unsafe for you and the animals. Much of wildlife survives in the wilderness because of their tuned senses and strong defense mechanisms. Many animals have senses far more sensitive than humans and can react far faster than any human or household pet. The natural food chain requires that predators kill and eat their prey and defend themselves against attackers. Wild animals initiate defense mechanisms when they encounter new things. For example, animals will freeze when light is shined at them, resulting in road kill. A porcupine will raise his spines when offended, hurting unknowing pets or children. Sometimes animals learn to forcefully get their food by attacking humans or pets. In the case of a bear, an animal weighing over a ton with claws stronger than a tractor, humans don?t stand a chance. Wild animals are commonly carriers of diseases such as rabies or viruses, which is a danger to humans and pets. Wild animals search for food usually by scent, easily accessible in garbage cans, or in a child?s hands.

This leads me to my final point, human food is unhealthy for wild animals. As stated by the Center for Wildlife Information, human food and garbage facilitates tooth decays, ulcers, malformation of body parts, and arthritis. Animals will eat anything with an odor on them, sometimes even foil or plastic, which will severely damage an animal?s digestive system. Make sure you securely dispose of any food trash. Processed foods for humans contain preservatives, excess fats, and seasonings, unhealthy for humans, are amplified in small animals. For example, I have seen a squirrel the size and shape of a basketball. It went from eating acorns and leaves to eating pizza. If a snake or fox is chasing that squirrel, it has no way of escaping with its excess weight. Many animals cannot process foods that they are given and may die from eating it.

To conclude, it might be cute to have an animal come up to you to take your offering, but just remember that animal might bite your arm off, or just walk away and roll over dead. Just look at the Crocodile Hunter, he is severely bitten or hurt every other episode, but never learns his lesson. Every time you see an animal flattened on the road, think about what I have told you. My first point was disrupting the natural cycle, second, it is unsafe for you and the animal, and third, human food is unhealthy for wild animals. With all this said and done, I urge you not to feed wild animals and to spread the word.

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