Jul 9, 2010

Don't Feed the...

Just a quick thought -

When you visit a National Park, or even in some cities, there are signs asking - nay, pleading - that you don't feed the wildlife. Bears, pidgins, squirrels... those cute little chipmunks that come right to you asking for a handout.

But “Handouts” hurt. Folks who offer food to animals and birds may have good intentions, but their “handouts” are more likely to cause harm than to help.

Here’s why, first you risk injury if they don’t keep a respectful distance. Look at that sign. Are the bird and rat/cat waiting for food, or did they just eat holes in that dude's hand? The answer is 'yes.' Bonus, wildlife carry diseases that can be transferred to humans, such as rabies.

Wild animals lose their natural fear of humans when they are fed. Such animals tend to become a nuisance to park goers; those that grow too aggressive may have to be shot and removed from the park. That's no fun. Yogi - Ranger Smith is going to have to get the rifle out, again.

When people provide food, wildlife populations increase to levels the natural environment cannot sustain. This unstable situation is often followed by animal starvation or by outbreaks of disease.

So, how come these same lessons and warnings aren't applied to government? I can go on and easily include the entire welfare state... but I think government would be the better example.

Of course, no one ever reads that sign. And then you have a hand bitten up by birds and rat/cats.


Cthulhu said...

There's an apochryphal story related to the Apalachian Trail:

young mother dips son's hand in honey so that a vear wil come & lick it off- amazing phot op. What hapebed is that the bear--allegedly--just bit the poor kid's hand off.

Do not fed the animals.

amus said...

whats a vear?