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 Post subject: Philosophical question - bird water yes, feeding animals no?
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:54 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Hi all

I have a great dislike of anybody changing the habits of animals (like feeding hyenas from a braai at a KNP fence) as things like the Letaba monkey issue ensues. But on principle, I don't like feeding animals other than pets. But then I started thinking about the triangle between what is accepted and what is legal and what is ethically right.

But then the following 2 scenarios question deeper as to what is ethically acceptable or not:
- growing fruit trees or aloes in a garden to increase bird population?
- putting out water for birds at Grootkolk?

The first poses the fundamentals of the issue - any change in your own area to the habits of animals although the birds must still find this food (not thrown at them at 0900 each morning outside your tent) so perhaps this is less obtrusive.

The latter has two issues. One is making wild (as opposed to the more garden type) birds change patterns (or possibly the birds merely find this water safer than the water at the waterhole, but then this also opens the debate of whether boreholes are ok so lets assume, for this argument, that boreholes are ok) which may lead to a change in general behaviour (the birds may become more dependent on visitors putting out water). The second is that it is in a SANPark which has strict no feeding the animals rules (but is water seen as feeding and is this actually legal?).

So, here are 2 situations that are generally accepted, but are they acceptable, and why? The reason I am asking, is as a photogrpaher, I would love to put out a neat bowl of water at Grootkolk with my camera set up for amazing shots of the little guys, but somehow I cannot see how this water is different from a mutton bone thrown to a jackal...

Thanks for your thoughts and time

John

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 Post subject: Re: Philosophical question - bird water yes, feeding animals
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:46 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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MXM, nice question. :thumbs_up:

I feed my birds at certain times of the year due to the fact that we have destroyed so much of their natural habitat.

Under different circumstances, they would have been able to forage and search in a much wider radius. As a species, we have been most disrespectful.

It is so difficult to know what is right in the long term. My take is that we have disrupted migration routes, rendered the ground poisonous, destroyed insects with pesticide.... in essence, there is no longer balance.

A bowl of water, no matter the motivation, is going to make a bird very happy.

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 Post subject: Re: Philosophical question - bird water yes, feeding animals
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:54 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:42 am
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Hi
I have had the same problem as I've grown older and have pondered greatly about this subject ,without dought we as humans have an influance on our surroundings . I read any article a while ago [I forget where ,us old folks are allowed this] about monkeys, if you observe them you will see if they have obtained a piece of food they will rush to the top of a tree and devour their prize ,however some of it will fall to the ground and feed the birds, ants etc , here is the dilemma ,are we governed by legal society or nature? [it seems to me moderation must come into play] If we have taken away from a species do we not give back?????? :shock: :shock: :shock: Have we all not been conditioned to think that once we have thrown something [edible ] in the trash can no further thought is given to it as we have done the right thing :pray: :pray: :pray:
Woodsy


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 Post subject: Re: Philosophical question - bird water yes, feeding animals
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:11 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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When I grew up, I remember shrubs covered with ladybirds. I used to collect them in a jar, I thought they were so beautiful. I could never understand why some were stuck together and probably ruined a lot of fun with my enthusiasm of making them unstuck and better. :wink:

Due to encroachment and insecticides, I hardly see them anymore.

Our grasses our sprayed with little consideration.

Messiness belongs to nature. We have become so self absorbed that we have forgotten the essentials of giving back. We do this at our own peril.

We cannot change what others do, but we can shift our own attitude from one of selfishness to one of generosity. Generosity to all creatures is the only way we can change our immediate environment.

There is no right or wrong answer here, but there is an attitude of mindfulness, or one of disregard.

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 Post subject: Re: Philosophical question - bird water yes, feeding animals
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:42 am 
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Well now this is a a tough question......

I think part of the thing is that a Weaver won't ripe your arm of to get to the meat in your hand once they have learned that Humans = Food.

Water well as it has been said above it's our fault the water is gone..............

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 Post subject: Re: Philosophical question - bird water yes, feeding animals
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:22 am 
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NetEk wrote:
Well now this is a a tough question......

I think part of the thing is that a Weaver won't ripe your arm of to get to the meat in your hand once they have learned that Humans = Food.

Water well as it has been said above it's our fault the water is gone..............


Netek, if I look at one of your favorite places, Mapungubwe and how mining is a threat to that vulnerable ecological space, it is a potential disaster at every level.

The so called balance of nature is just that... so called.

I find feeding of animals a problem, because it puts the animals at risk. Water for birds :hmz: the birds are already at risk from every angle.

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 Post subject: Re: Philosophical question - bird water yes, feeding animals
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:06 pm 
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Having read this thread over a few times over the past few days, I have come to feel that Meandering Mouse has a strong point: so long as the animal being fed/watered (albeit bird or beast) is not being endangered nor putting a person or infrastructure in any danger, it might be fine.

Part of this is that the bird/animal cannot have its behaviour changed significantly that it would be harder for the creature to continue living if I moved the water/food away. This is the big one for me, if I take the water away from the chalet when I leave, I am confident that the little birdies will have no issue flying to the waterhole or some other place for water when they feel the need.

I will not have totally changed their way of doing things or made them incapable of living a more natural life. I will merely have made them happy by giving them some water. And they would have made me happy by perching close enough for a good picture.

Thanks to all who thought about this. Any other opinions?

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