You’ve probably heard that you shouldn’t feed wildlife. But do you know why it’s a bad idea?
Offering our snacks is especially harmful to wild animals. The addictive taste and easy access allow them to fill up on empty calories and bypass the nutritious foods they need. If it becomes a habit, they may slack off hunting and foraging, becoming more dependent on food that might disappear at any time. So, feeding wild animals can throw off an entire ecosystem whose populations are intertwined.
Food conditioning — which is what this is called — also makes animals aggressive, as they lose their fear of people to take their favored foods any way they can get them.
Don’t rock the boat by feeding wild animals. That includes cleaning up your picnic or campsite, so no trash or crumbs are left behind.