The Dangers of Feeding Wildlife

The Dangers of Feeding Wildlife

Covid-19 has impacted wildlife in many ways. However, the effects of the pandemic on nature have been most evident in the way that people interact with wildlife.

It seems like everyone wants to feed wildlife like coyotes, squirrels, and other animals they see outdoors. Yet, this behavior is interacting with wildlife in a way that can be particularly dangerous.

Read on to learn more about the dangers of feeding wildlife.

Unpredictable Reactions from Wild Animals

Feeding wild animals can be dangerous for both the animals and the people involved. Animals can become aggressive if they think people are withholding food. Bears and deer may show signs of irritation if they don’t receive food, such as pawing, growling, and biting.

People may also be bitten by snakes or other animals that have been rousted out of hiding by the presence of humans. Unpredictable reactions from wild animals can cause serious injury or even death, so it is best to leave the wildlife alone. People should not feed wild animals and should leave wildlife observation and education to qualified professionals.

The Risk of Contracting Diseases

Feeding wildlife can be extremely dangerous. The risk of contracting several infectious diseases is real for anyone who contacts wild animals. Diseases that can be passed to humans from wildlife include:

  • salmonella
  • psittacosis
  • brucella
  • tuberculosis
  • leptospirosis

For example, salmonella can infect humans through contact with the feces of infected wildlife. Even if a human does not come into direct contact with infected wildlife, they can still inhale droplets of their feces in the air, which is not desirable.

Unnatural Behavioural Changes in Wild Animals

Feeding wildlife can not only put humans at risk of becoming victims of animal attacks and diseases but can also cause unnatural behavioral changes in wild animals. As animals become accustomed to being fed, they start to rely on humans as a food source instead of scavenging for their food, causing them to lose their hunting and foraging abilities.

This unnatural dependence on humans for food can cause changes in migration and hibernation, stress, and disease, which can all be detrimental to their survival. Feeding wildlife should be discouraged as it has the potential to cause more harm than good in the long term.

Difficulty Identifying Between Predators and Prey

When wildlife depends on human food for sustenance, they can become unafraid of humans, which increases their risk of seeking out people for food and can result in negative interactions. If wild animals start invading your properties, make sure to contact a 24 hour pest control for wildlife removal. Do not attempt to handle the situation on your own.

What’s worse, it can also blur identifying factors between predators and prey and disrupt natural food sources. This can cause predators to falsely perceive humans as prey, resulting in animal attacks or human injuries.

It is important to understand and remember the principles of not feeding wild animals. Doing so will ensure the safety of both wildlife and humans and will preserve the delicate balance between predators and prey.

Avoid These Dangers of Feeding Wildlife

Feeding wildlife can be detrimental to both the animal and the environment. We must respect nature and preserve the balance of our planet by respecting food chains and respecting the safety of animals with wild instincts. Taking the time to educate yourself and others is a great way to start.

Help spread the message and help keep our planet and creatures safe.

Be sure to check out some of our other helpful and informative articles!