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0 Comments | May 28, 2018

National Park Laws and Etiquette

Do Not Feed The Wildlife Sign

With the warm weather quickly approaching, it’s a wonderful time to visit local and national parks. When you need an escape and you yearn for a rekindling with nature, parks can be a great outlet. They also offer an amazing opportunity to see wildlife in their natural habitats. However, it’s important to remember that you’re a visitor in the animal’s home and disrupting the home can be dangerous and illegal.

Do Not Feed The Animals

In national parks it’s prohibited to feed the animals and dangerous to cause habituation. The Do Not Feed The Wildlife signs you see around a park aren’t just there for decoration. Feeding animals, despite good intentions, can severely harm animals in ways you might not be aware of. It is for your safety as well as the safety of the animal. When animals depend on people for food it can cause injuries and spread disease.

Avoid Habituation

As wildlife grow used to humans and lose their innate fears, they become aggressive, and as a result, may be destroyed. Although you might want to get an animal’s attention, calling, whistling, or making noises of any kind to attract wildlife is illegal. During your stay, you will undoubtedly see many creatures. When this happens, you should admire the animal from afar and cause as little disruption as possible.

Risks You Face By Feeding Animals and Causing Familiarization

  • Attacks
  • Infectious diseases
  • Damage to your vehicle or belongings
  • Severe injuries or even death

Risks Animals Face When You Feed Them

  • Euthanasia
  • Diseases
  • Health strains
  • Being hit by motor vehicles
  • Injuries
  • Abandonment

If you want to get closer to animals, keep in mind that feeding wildlife is a citable offense, carries a maximum sentence of six months in prison, and/or a $5,000 fine. So if you and your family decide to take a trip to one of the many national parks, enjoy the trip for what it is: an opportunity to enjoy wildlife in the wild.

 

 

Source:

https://www.nps.gov/grca/learn/nature/wildlife-habituation.htm

https://www.nps.gov/maca/learn/news/do-not-feed-wildlife.htm