Carolinian Canada

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Do not Feed Wild Animals

Leave wildlife alone

Many people feed wildlife either on purpose (to see animals up close) or by accident (improper disposal of food waste), but they may not realize that this can have negative consequences for both wildlife and people.

Feeding wildlife can cause them to lose their fear of humans.  This can be dangerous for the animals, as it may bring them into dangerous situations, such as being hit by vehicles on the road.  Your neighbours may not be pleased if your wild pets start visiting them looking for food, especially if they damage their homes and property!

If food is provided regularly animals may become dependent on this food source.  This is especially a problem when young animals do not learn how to find their natural food sources on their own.  If this food source is removed they may starve, and if the proper types of food are not provided then the animals may get sick.

Unintentionally feeding animals by not properly disposing of your garbage can be a problem too.  Opportunistic species, like raccoons, actually do better in cities where there is a plentiful supply of garbage than they might in their natural habitat.  Too many animals living together can cause disease to spread, or can cause pressure on other species.

Instead of providing ‘people food’ or artificial feed for wild animals, why not create wildlife habitat on your property.  Native plants will provide shelter, food and water for wildlife while keeping them wild.

Raccoon - S. Gillingwater
Additional Resources: 

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources - Wildlife Management

Carolinian Canada is a network of leaders growing healthy landscapes for a green future in the Carolinian Zone in the spirit and practice of reconciliation.

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