Feeding animals and birds

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Goggo EJ
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Feeding animals and birds

Unread post by Goggo EJ »

(Mods please move this to general topics if needed!)

We all know that we must not feed animals, but many folk still think it is OK to throw out some crumbs etc for birds...... However the animal kingdom does not follow our logic!!!!
After some thought and discussion with others, I have prepared the makings of an information leaflet.

Why can’t I feed animals or birds?
They begin to rely on handouts
Our food is not their natural food and may cause long term health problems
They begin to associate humans with food and become a nuisance or even dangerous. They begin to raid fridges, tents, cupboards. They will even attack people eating to get the food in their hands. Children will be especially vulnerable as they are smaller and appear to be less of a threat to the animal.
Your thoughtless act creates problem animals who may eventually have to be shot when they become dangerous.

Surely a small piece of bread or other food occasionally is OK?
It still teaches them that humans have food available and leads to begging or nuisance behaviour

What about leftovers/vegetable and fruit peels or pips?
Again much of our food is not their natural food.
Food scraps around camps and picnic spots encourage animals and birds to associate humans with food and promote begging or nuisance behaviour.
Some fruit or vegetable pips/seeds are not indigenous and may grow if left around or dropped further away in animals/bird droppings leading to invasive alien plant problems.
Even crumbs on the ground can attract ants. The next person may not like the ants and put down ant poison which then becomes a danger to other insects, animals and birds.

How can I keep scraps safe?
Do not leave any dust-bin bags where animals can get to them.
Take all scraps away with you and dispose of them at home
In camps and picnic spots make sure any food scraps are disposed off in a proper monkey-proof bin.
If eating at a restaurant outdoors put all food scraps on to one plate and then cover them with another plate turned upside down to protect them until staff can clear the table

What about bird seed?
It can also encourage reliance on human handouts
Some of the seeds may not be indigenous to Kruger and may grow causing alien plant problems

I like birds how can I attract them?
A plant saucer with water can be placed on the ground near your tent/caravan/hut. Monkeys and baboons may drink if passing, but it will not attract them. Birds will be attracted to drink and even bathe. Even some insects will come to drink.
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Senyetse
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Re: Feeding animals and birds

Unread post by Senyetse »

Great post EC! :thumbs_up:

Another reason - feeding of any wildlife in National Parks in South Africa is forbidden by the Protected Areas Act so it is actually illegal and transgressors can be fined.
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Boorgatspook
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Re: Feeding animals and birds

Unread post by Boorgatspook »

ecojunkie wrote:@Senyetse - do you have a link? Would be good to see what is said in that law....

NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT: PROTECTED AREAS ACT 57 OF 2003
(Apologies for the parts thats highlited in yellow, didn't know how to removed it)
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Senyetse
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Re: Feeding animals and birds

Unread post by Senyetse »

EJ, I don't think feeding is specifically mentioned in the Act but the Act gives Sanparks the power to make and enforce the rules.

See here

The fines for disobeying the rules and regulations in the KNP are issued according to various regulations of the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act, Act 57 of 2003. These fines are revised on an annual basis, are proposed by the KNP Managing Executive and approved by the White River Magistrate. See attached fine list which was revised this year in April 2009.
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Senyetse
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Re: Feeding animals and birds

Unread post by Senyetse »

ecojunkie wrote:OK - I did not explain that the leaflet is really to explain why the rules exist......and hopefully encourage compliance through understanding. So folk should already know it is illegal - now they will know why it is illegal!


Yep, agreed, most know its illegal but its not regarded as being a serious offence by many - "everyone is doing it, what's the harm then"?
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Goggo EJ
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Re: Feeding animals and birds

Unread post by Goggo EJ »

Do you mean like this?

Welcome to the Kruger National Park. We want you to enjoy your visit, so please read this leaflet carefully. It will help to enhance your experience, and help you avoid breaking any rules and regulations.

1. Stay in your vehicle at all times.
Only get out of the vehicle if there is a sign saying that you may do so. All the animals are wild and therefore unpredictable, so you are only safe in your vehicle, with doors closed. Don’t lean out of windows or sunroofs because the animals will recognise the human outline and either run away or attack.

2. The speed limit is 50km/hr on tar roads and 40km/hr on gravel roads.
If you go faster than this you will not be able to see many animals, and if they come onto the road from behind bushes you will not be able to stop in time. If you drive fast past vehicles which are stopped to view wildlife you will scare the animals or birds away. If you drive fast on the gravel roads and stir up dust it obscures vision, and makes accidents more likely.

3. Stay on designated roads at all times.
You must always have at least 2 wheels on the road surface. If you drive off the road you damage the veld and the vegetation takes at least a full season to recover. You may also cause soil erosion. Some of the road edges are soft and you may get stuck.

4. Do not feed the animals.

If they are given food they start to lose their fear of people, and learn to associate people with food. They may spend more time on the roads increasing the risk of accidents. They can become aggressive towards people who do not give them food, and then may have to be shot. Even dropping crumbs for birds can attract monkeys and baboons which may become dangerous. Some of our food is also not good for animals.

5. Keep quiet in the camps between 2130 and 0600.
This allows you to be able to hear the night sounds of the bush, and to get enough sleep before the morning game drives. Please be considerate of your neighbours.

6. Do not stop on a single lane bridge if another vehicle is waiting to cross.

If you want to take photos, or watch birds or animals move off the bridge and return after other vehicles have crossed. Please be considerate.

7. Do not block the road at sightings.
Park on the side of the road that the game is located, leaving the opposite lane free for other vehicles to pass. Do not park diagonally as this reduces the width of the road further. If there are many vehicles trying to see the same animals please be considerate and move off after a while so others also get a chance for a good view. Turn off your engine to avoid scaring the animals away, and keep voices low for the same reason.

8. Be careful passing animals at the side of the road.
The sound of an approaching vehicle may startle them and make them run into the road in front of you.

9. Allow sufficient time to be at the gate or camp before closing time.
It is not safe to be out on the roads after closing time because of reduced visibility and increased predator activity.

10. Other rules and regulations.
Please read the leaflet attached to your entrance permit for further information. If you do not understand any rule or regulation please ask a member of staff to explain to you why it is necessary.
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RosemaryH
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Re: Feeding animals and birds

Unread post by RosemaryH »

Morning EJ - Great thread and certainly needed.
Fantastic initiative :thumbs_up:

A little something from an old edition (1993) of Make The Most of Kruger Great book which taught us the do's, don't's and enjoyment of Kruger.
It went as follows:

FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Nature provides the perfect diet for all animals that live in the Park.
It is absolutely vital that you do not feed any creature.
As they become dependent on humans, they become less alert and lose their ability
to find their own food.
You are not doing them a favour, but actually making their survival more difficult.
You are also breaking one of the strictest laws of the Park and can be heavily fined.



Bushmom wrote:Something in the line of the leaflets that used to be handed out in the 50's "Why Rules and Regulations" just more comprehensive and up to date?

I still have a copy complete with cartoons if anyone would be interested.
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Goggo EJ
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Re: Feeding animals and birds

Unread post by Goggo EJ »

2 quotes come to mind - and I cannot remember who said them, and won't get them right but
1. all that is needed for evil to continue is that good people do nothing
2. will those of you who say it cannot be done get out of the way of those of us who are doing it

If we only change a few folk we will have made a difference, and that is what it is all about - because those few will then join the battle and spread the word too.....
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Elsa
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Re: Feeding animals and birds

Unread post by Elsa »

I'm all for pushing the education of the rules, while you may not convert the die-hard rule breakers, that is up to Sanparks to hit them in the pocket, you may get through to some who genuinely don't know about them.
I have been saying for years that the staff at the entrance gates or in the offices where the permit is issued should have been making the rules and regs more obvious, all it needs is a quick flick open of the pamphlet and a "Please do take time to read the rules printed here and make sure you obey them" a few seconds at the most of their time.
And happily from what I read, it seems the staff at Orpen Gate are doing just that. :clap:
EJ, well done on your initiative and Good Luck. :clap:
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Goggo EJ
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Re: Feeding animals and birds

Unread post by Goggo EJ »

Bushmom has been able to send me the scans of the cartoon rules leaflet that used to be handed out

Image

Image

I think we would do better with simple 'stick figure' type cartoons as they are clearer - but these are great!
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Goggo EJ
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Re: Feeding animals and birds

Unread post by Goggo EJ »

@forestgump - remember that birds will drink and bathe opportunistically in any small amount of water they find.
Around camps there is always water - puddles under taps, etc. as well as natural sources.
Putting out a plant saucer of water is not going to alter or affect their behaviour in any way.
Putting out food is totally different and alters behaviour, is not natural, etc.
Unless of course you plant grass/trees/etc which are indigenous to the area so they can help themselves to the seeds, leaves, fruit which they would normally eat.
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Goggo EJ
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Re: Feeding animals and birds

Unread post by Goggo EJ »

I also had input and comments from 'gurus' and officialdom before posting it, to avoid anything which would not be correct. So I am happy that my stance is OK and water is perfectly natural and does no harm - in small quantities that we are referring to here.
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Re: Feeding of birds at picnic spots

Unread post by Goggo EJ »

Sadly many folk think that feeding birds with crumbs etc is OK.
Many of the same folk that would never feed an animal........!
They forget that animals do not understand their actions and just see food being handed out and come for their share too.
In nature creatures often watch each other and when they see a lot of others going to one place they assume there is food or something good and go to find out too.
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Re: Feeding of birds at picnic spots

Unread post by Mgulube »

A lot of visitors complain about Vervets at picnic areas, but birds can be just as big a problem. Feeding of birds should NEVER take place :naughty:
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Goggo EJ
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Re: Feeding of birds at picnic spots

Unread post by Goggo EJ »

Here is my solution to the problem of birds attacking empty plates for scraps
Image

Just invert one plate over the other and the birds cannot get to any scraps.
Last edited by Goggo EJ on Wed Aug 25, 2010 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

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