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Protect local wildlife - Don't feed the animals!

By Doug Perry
Released/Published: Jun 15, 2009

Park visitors who offer food to animals, such as squirrels, geese, or ducks, may have good intentions, but their "handouts" are more likely to cause them harm than help.

Here's Why:

•    Possible Human/Animal Conflicts -All wildlife have natural instincts to defend themselves from danger. If startled or cornered, they can often react by biting or scratching when people get too close. They can also carry diseases to which people are susceptible.

•    Loss of instincts/ Natural fear of people - Wildlife lose their natural fear of people when offered repeat "handouts." Wildlife then appear aggressive by seeking more "handouts" from park patrons. Without this fear of people, wildlife are then in danger from those who would do them harm.

•    Poor Nutrition/Health - Most people who feed the wildlife in the park give them "people" food. These animals have specialized diets and giving them "people" food can cause them to become malnourished or even die. Young animals are particularly vulnerable.

•    When fed, overpopulation results - When people provide an extra food supply wildlife populations can become too large. Often this food supply is more than the natural environment can provide. Once winter arrives most people then stop providing "handouts" in the park and starvation or disease outbreaks may occur.

•    Sanitation problems - Too many animals and birds in an area can quickly make the area unsightly or even unusable causing expensive cleanup efforts due to excess animal waste.

When visiting Canton Parks, we ask that you please remember this information and refrain from feeding the animals.  By doing so, you will be protecting our local wildlife for future generations!

Contact Information: (330)489-3015

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