Recently, it has been brought to our attention that many wild animals are put at risk by being fed commercial food. Though feeding wild animals seems like an enjoyable hobby for anyone who is thrilled by seeing them, it can be detrimental to all involved. Feeding wildlife can directly harm animals, or can put both the animal and human in a compromising position.

Deer are used to eating natural food, so switching to grain and corn can lead to the deer’s death. The feeding is also harmful because the deer congregate, promoting the spread of communicable diseases.

Both animals and humans can be put in danger when wild animals lose their fear of humans. Black bears are infamous for destroying bird feeders in the summer and spring. In the winter, the bears aren’t around, but people who live in bear country should bring in their bird feeders before bears come out of hibernation.

When a juvenile animal appears alone, the mother is often nearby watching over her offspring. Humans sometimes try to help, but no help is needed. If you see an adolescent animal that you believe has been abandoned, the best thing to do is to call the proper authorities.

Remember, fed wildlife is dead wildlife. What may seem kind and fun in the moment can have disastrous consequences.

If you care, leave them there. Keep Maine wildlife wild.

Madeline Labonte and nine others of the Clan of Mor’du Lego League team, Spruce Mountain Middle School, Jay

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