Day 205 – Don’t Feed the Animals!   9 comments

A week ago, I’m out with the kids walking on some of the extensive trails that run all over Edmonton’s river valley and we come to this little wood enclosure with a bench. There’s a railing all the way around and the floor is covered in sunflower seed shells and peanut shells. Being the annoying type of dad that takes every opportunity to share a lesson with his kids, I point out that all these shells mean that people are feeding the animals. I explain that we should not feed wild animals people food because the animals may become reliant on people for food and it’s not their natural diet. It may be fun to feed the animals because we get to see them up close, but we still shouldn’t because it isn’t good for them. [Full disclosure to the kids (and you), I fed chipmunks and squirrels nuts and seeds when I was a kid but I’m reformed now.]

No sooner am I done with my little lesson for the day when this little fella turns up to the full delight and wide-eyed wonder of my girls. This chipmunk came running right up to us to see if we had anything good for him (or her, I didn’t check). Taking advantage of the chipmunk’s appearance – I used him as an example of a critter whose perhaps too accustomed to people.

He ran off when we showed no sign of offering him dinner. Next came a series of sparrows flitting in to see what was on offer. Then came a squirrel – who came within inches of my six-year old’s head before I pulled her out of head-jumping-on range. Then came a mouse. Clearly these animals are used food coming from anyone who steps into this box!

To my delight, my 10-year old turns to me and says now that we’ve been here and not fed them, that’s one more family that hasn’t fed the animals. So endeth the lesson.



9 responses to “Day 205 – Don’t Feed the Animals!

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  1. Ha! And so true. There was a woman around here who starting feeding a gator by the bayou side, 200 or so meters from her house. Over time, the gator ended up laying out on her porch and at times, would block her door from opening. He wouldn’t feed in the water any more. Great shot!

  2. nice picture!

  3. He´s a cute li´l fella, you´re right to hold off the feeding thing!

  4. So, when you’re visiting, you promise not to feed the bears?

  5. I love the photo, and a wonderful story. Lesson learned – no feeding the wildlife, and if I might add, don’t feed the teenager boys who come home with your kids – once they know there is food in the fridge they never leave either!

    • Thanks Janice. I agree, no feeding teenage boys either! We’re still a few years off that very scary sounding scenario. Might have to put up a sign… “No teenage boys allowed!”.

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