Yosemite National Park in, more than 1,100 vehicles were broken into by black bears, causing millions in damages.
4. Wild animals that depend on people for food can cause injuries or spread disease. When wild animals gather for food handouts, it can cause crowding and competition. These unnatural conditions increase the chances of fighting and injury among animals. It can also increase the spread of diseases, some of which may be transmitted to pets and humans.
What can you do?
1. Rinse all recyclable glass and plastic containers to remove any food remnants and odors. Some animals, like skunks, can get their heads stuck in containers and wind up starving to death. Cut and/or crush plastic containers, and cut each ring of plastic six-pack carriers.
2. Feed your pets inside.
3. Make sure plastic food wrap is rinsed and put in a tied bag or securely covered garbage can.
4. When visiting parks and similar settings, clean up after yourself and follow the rules regarding wildlife. Encourage others to do the same.
5. Learn when to step in. If you see an animal who you think may be injured or orphaned, make sure the animal truly needs your help before feeding the animal anything or attempting a "rescue."
A cute little chipmunk.
6. Feed backyard birds and squirrels at home, (approved food if you want). We oppose feeding wildlife when it might cause problems, but feeding birds and squirrels is generally harmless. Don’t feed them by hand. Instead, set up a feeder where you can watch them from a distance.
7. Provide some natural food sources. Plant some native bushes, trees, or flowers and put up a birdbath or other water feature for your local wildlife. You'll be on your way to creating a humane backyard.
So, please remember when you take your family camping trip this summer, or your out enjoying a hike at a National Park, State Park that we are just guests. These animals that people are trying to ride, "save" or feed are wild and have natural instincts when it comes to hunting, foraging for food and surviving. Trees and plants do not need to have hearts and bad words on them, flowers do not need to be plucked from the soil. Instead, enjoy the beauty of nature and all it has to offer. Take a moment for yourself and put away that phone and selfie stick and live in the moment.