It may be tempting to feed wildlife for up close and personal looks or that perfect photo, but doing so is often harmful to wildlife! While feeding songbirds can be beneficial, it is important not to feed other animals. Feeding animals “junk foods” such as bread, popcorn, or French fries can lead to malnutrition. Human-fed animals teach these behaviors to their offspring, which might fail to develop the skills to find sustenance on their own. Feeding human food to wildlife often causes animals to congregate in unusually high numbers in one area, which often places wildlife at higher risk of being hit by cars. These unusual concentrations of animals put them at risk of increased territorial fighting and hasten the spread of disease.
It is easy to think you are helping animals by providing food, but most animals are capable of finding their own food and usually do best that way. Learn more about what you should and should not do to help keep wild animals happy and healthy at wildohio.gov/staywild and share this post to spread the word!