Don’t Feed The Wildlife signs are scattered all over Walt Disney World, yet on any given day you can find someone feeding them. What gives? WHY would you do this?
While the Disney Parks have lots of Mice and Ducks running around – the majority of them are there to sign autographs and get pictures taken with! Mickey and Donald won’t accept your snacks and don’t need to be fed.
There is a lot of real wildlife around the property and many just ignore the signs asking you not to feed them. Here are some of the reasons you should NOT feed the wildlife.
Our food isn’t good for them
Take a look at this photo below. A family in Epcot were enjoying their gigantic turkey leg but decided they didn’t want the skin. Instead of throwing it out, they gave it to this bird who of course could not ‘bite’ it much less swallow it. I was waiting for him to drop it so I could take it away, but it ran off with it hanging out of its mouth.
Providing our ‘human’ snacks to these animals might be fun for your kids to see, but extremely dangerous to the wildlife. They can’t chew or process the food that we can and can become very ill from it.
After you’ve had your fun watching them trying to eat the popcorn you just threw, they are struggling to swallow and digest the high amount of salt you have just injected in to their diet.
It attracts other wildlife to the area
Have you noticed that there are areas in the parks where you will find a high concentration of squirrels or birds? They have been ‘trained’ that these are the areas where there are plenty of people with food that will feed them. WE have trained them to come to these areas to get fed because too many people are feeding them. There is such a crowd some days you would think the birds sent a mass text to their friends that there’s a big lunch crowd outside of the American Adventure and they should all come!
They lose their fear of people and that is dangerous for everyone
As these animals become accustomed to being fed by humans, they lose their natural instincts to be afraid of us. When they are not afraid, they become more aggressive. I have witnessed birds swoop down and take a French fry out of someones hand or a squirrel rip apart a stroller full of snacks. What would happen if the bird or squirrel bit a child? The family would be screaming the house down – even if they were feeding it popcorn seconds before.
We have to remember that we train the wildlife how to behave with our own actions. This is why Disney has signs everywhere – for our SAFETY and the safety of the wildlife.
The next time you have a snack that you don’t want to finish, walk to the nearest trash can and dispose of it. The trash cans are everywhere, and it’s the right thing to do. Don’t be one of those annoying guests who can’t follow the rules.