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Viral video a teachable moment about risks of feeding wildlife

Wednesday, October 28th 2020, 10:55 am - Feeding wildlife can put animals at risk, officials say.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) are reminding the public that feeding wildlife can sometimes cause more harm than good.

The CPW recently posted a video (watch above) on social media that was taken October 23, featuring an 'aggressive' wild turkey that pecked an officer's vehicle and then followed him as he drove on the highway. The officer was in the area clearing debris from a recent wildfire and had originally thought the turkey's behaviour was due to the fire.

On closer inspection, the officer realized the turkey was a “domesticated bird being fed by people."

“What can happen when you feed wildlife is the animals can become demanding," CPW NE region said in a Twitter post.

"The next person to come across this turkey could be met with aggression and injured by it if it is expecting you to feed it.”

Feeding wildlife can also encourage larger numbers of animals to group together than would naturally occur, which can cause diseases to spread, the Toronto Wildlife Center says.

It can also discourage animals from foraging for their natural food sources, which can lead to illness.

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