Don’t feed wild animals

Bighorn Ram
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Everyone knows that it’s not good to feed wild animals. Even though state fish and wildlife officials constantly remind the public not to do it, one bighorn sheep in Durango, CO is now dead because it ate food provided by humans. Its death was confirmed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) on Monday.

In Colorado, it is illegal to feed wildlife and anyone found guilty doing so can be fined and ticketed for the offense. Yet, no one has come forward with any information as to whom may have fed the bighorn sheep or how it obtained the food in the first place.

Continued below.

According to CPW, big game animals like deer, elk, moose and bighorn sheep can only digest food from natural sources and these animals intuitively know what to eat in the wild. If the animals eat food outside of these sources, they cannot digest it and can die within days. Jenny Churchill of CPW says that this includes even food that is suitable for livestock.

If you live in a location frequented by wild animals, please make sure that your pet and livestock food sources are secure. Also, if camping or hunting, make sure food is stored in a locked container. 

Mike Porras of CPW says that the feeding of wildlife is an ongoing issue, especially when bears get into trash. But, he adds, “Across the board — digestion, influencing migration or habitats, disease transmission — animals are negatively affected.”


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