This year the Food Stamp Program (SNAP) administered by the U.S.Department of Agriculture is proud to be distributing the greatest amount of free meals and food stamps ever – to 47 million people.
Meanwhile, the National Park Service administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior asks us “Please Do Not Feed the Animals” because animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves…
Animals that are fed by people become dependent on human food, and may lose their natural fear of humans and their ability to forage for natural foods. There is a lot of truth to the saying, “a fed animal is a dead animal.” In addition to losing their foraging ability, animals that have been fed are less likely to survive other reasons. Animals that have been fed from cars congregate near roadways and are at a high risk of being killed by vehicle collisions.
In recent years, the National Park Service has had to euthanize deer, coyotes, rock squirrels and other animals at Grand Canyon that had become overly aggressive towards humans and/or had become completely dependant on food handouts. Park rangers work to preserve and protect park resources, including wildlife. NPS staff find it heartbreaking when they are forced to euthanize animals whose aggressive behaviors were caused by being fed by well-meaning people. [NPS.gov]