**I just wanted to get a close-up photo.
**My children love feeding the chipmunks.
**The chipmunks looked too thin so they may be starving . . . I don't want them to die.
**It is getting close to winter so I wanted the animals to fatten up in order to survive the upcoming winter weather.
** The animals are begging for food, so obviously lots of people have fed them before we started feeding them.
**We have always fed the wildlife and never received a fine, so it must be okay.
Great excuses, but there may be some serious negative impacts that endanger the unsuspecting animal. Allow me to cover a few of the dangers.
concentration of animals into a small area increases the incidence of feces, saliva, and urine, which easily harbor infectious disease-causing
micro-organisms like bacteria, viruses, or fungi. Further if food is not consumed fully, the remaining rotting food will attract mice and insects. This increases the potential for the spread of disease .
Please be a responsible tourist by refraining from feeding the wildlife. Encourage other tourists to avoid feeding the wildlife. I remember seeing a sign that read "A Fed Bear is a Dead Bear!" Perhaps we should say a fed wild animal is a dead animal.
**Wildlife feeding threatens human and animal safety.
**Wildlife feeding my lead to over-abundance or over-concentration of a species to an area.
**Wildlife feeding can promote the spread of diseases.
**Wildlife feeding may cause malnutrition in wildlife.
**Wildlife feeding leads to the unnatural behavior of wildlife.
**Wildlife feeding is prohibited by law in many states and/or countries. (For example, "Feeding wildlife is punishable with a fine of up to $5000.00 and/or 6 months in jail!")