Sunday, August 23, 2009

They didn't hear the Keep Wildlife Wild message

The squirrels that it. The humans were doing their best.
We only get up to "Second Burroughs" about once a year, and this weekend it was time for our annual trip. The views there are spectacular.

But the Golden Mantle Squirrels in the area have not heard the word we were spreading on "Keep Wildlife Wild Weekend" a few weeks ago. Since it took place during my computer woes, I didn't post about it. Along with dozens of other volunteers, we spent the day spreading the word about how important it is to prevent the wild animals being habituated to humans through learned behavior--especially feeding them.

This little mama was particularly aggressive in seeking what she had learned that the lunchers there would have available. Notice how tightly everyone is hanging on to their chip bags, and this lady is holding her sandwich high--not knowing how to deal with the little beggar.
C'mon, let me have some.
I'll check out another table.

It wasn't till almost the end of the half hour we sat eating that she showed up at our rock. I thought maybe she recognized the uniforms and knew we would not be a soft touch.

There are a variety of reasons for not feeding the animals, and creating nuisances like her is only one of them. Just think, chips are considered "junk food" for us, what impact can all that sodium and preservatives have on her little body? Fed animals do not fair so well once the season for human visits is over. Animals can carry disease. Animals coming into the parking lot (not a problem at Burroughs Mountain) looking for dropped food are in danger of being hit.
All these dangers because of things they learn from us when we don't use our common sense.
Mary from Faith Fabric and Photos was visiting in my neck of the woods the last couple of weeks. We were unfortunately unable to schedule a meet-up, but she has some great pictures from her visit at her blog.
(If you are looking, I will get a psalm up later.)


imac said...

Feed me - Feed me.

Talk about Oliver, asking for More.

Brill set of pics my friend.

Mary said...

Very good message. They are so cute that I had to really sit on my hands to keep from feeding them. I'm a sucker for a hungry animal. One climbed on the seat next to my daughter, but mostly they only got on the empty tables or ran around under our feet. I don't suppose it would be an option to have areas where wild food is provided to help augment their diets when they can't find food or have babies, but make them less aggressive with the picnicking visitors? The "no feeding" problem is universal where people meet animals. Around here the biggest problem is people who feed Canada Geese.

Janie said...

Good message from the hikers, but obviously not consistently given to the squirrels!
True that feeding wildlife is bad in so many ways. In Utah, we've had a lot of problems with black bears because humans don't clean up their campsites and the bears associate humans with food. Several bears have to be shot every year because they become a danger.

Liz said...

How cheeky is that?!!

dot said...

Amazing pictures and I agree they don't need the junk food.