It seems like for the past few weeks...maybe months...that I see wildlife in places that I don't normally expect to see them. I see them in more people's yards and residential roads. I wonder where they are coming from because usually there aren't any woods around. I wonder if more people are feeding them?

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If you are, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has some pretty straight forward information about not feeding wildlife and the hazards that it could bring.

Department of Environmental Conservation - Don't Feed The Wildlife

They have a pretty simple message - DON'T FEED THE WILDLIFE! Our intentions might be noble, whether it's to help feed the animals or to get a closer look at them. But feeding wildlife causes more problems then it solves.

For one thing, when you feed the wild animals, it throws off the natural balance between the wildlife population and their habitat. If they become accustomed to being fed, they might not migrate when they should. In other words, they could lose the "wild" out of wildlife.

Wildlife Malnutrition

If you are a pet owner, you know that there are certain foods that you don't feed to your cat or dog and the same holds true for the animals in the wild. Human food isn't necessarily healthy food for them.

When wildlife begins to rely on us, they might not get the nutrients that their natural food would provide. Also feeding a newborn animal could create more damage then good and cause bone, muscle and tissue problems.

If the young animal doesn't learn to eat in the wild, that will decrease their chance of survival. The animals may also start to feed out of garbage cans or bags that have plastics and waste in them. It's a no-win for them on so many levels.

If you are looking for other reasons to leave the wildlife alone, here's another deterrent. It's illegal in New York to feed bear, deer and moose in New York. When it comes to feeding wildlife...Just Say NO!

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