Friendly Fridays: Don’t Feed Our Furry Friends!

It’s a moment all of us wildlife lovers dream of: looking into the eyes of an animal and feeling a profound, wordless connection, transfixed by a gaze that you know must hold much more intelligence than we as a species can currently comprehend. We want to befriend the Black Stallion and gain his trust; we want to give Willy’s tongue a loving pat; we want to feel chosen and trusted by a wild animal that should otherwise fear our kind.

But it’s not a good idea for us or for them. Unfortunately the world doesn’t work the way Disney told us it would; we aren’t all wolf whisperers, and wildlife doesn’t choose to hang around our homes because they can sense our admiration of nature. Even the most seasoned field biologist has been tempted to offer a handful of food to a wild animal, but we now know better.

Feeding wildlife may seem helpful to the well-intentioned, but it does more harm than good in the long run. Once an animal comes to associate a human or human residence with an easy meal, they’ll keep coming back for more — and there’s no guarantee that the next person they approach or house they visit will treat them kindly. Deer, coyotes, and black bears are commonly attracted to homes that leave pet food outdoors, which can unfortunately lead to a collision with a car or lethal removal either by a trigger-happy homeowner or a wildlife agency.

So please, remember not to feed wild animals! Let’s do our best to protect them from harm and keep our wildlife wild.

Aaron Huelsman

Leave a Reply Text

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *