Aww, How Cute!
Chestnut Hill is home to many wild animals. Living in a semi-wild urban area has wonderful benefits: we get to experience actual nature as well as the conveniences of modern city living. But there are “nuisance” animals that conflict with our own enjoyment of both private and common areas. Coyotes get into garbage and can threaten our pets. Raccoon (yes that is the plural) eat anything, including garbage, and can be a huge nuisance. Also geese make an absolute mess of our ponds and common areas.
Don’t Feed Anything!
- Feeding wildlife makes wild animals lose their fear of people. Once animals learn they can panhandle for food, they can become insistent, creating a nuisance or even a safety risk. This is true even of raccoon and squirrels.
- Wild animals who depend on people for food can cause injuries or spread disease. When wild animals gather for food handouts, it can cause crowding and competition. These unnatural conditions increase the chances of fighting and injury among animals. It can also increase the spread of diseases, some of which may be transmitted to pets and humans.
- “People” food isn’t good for animals. Human foods aren’t nutritious enough for animals and may cause serious health problems. Geese and ducks can feel full on bread, causing them to stop grazing for natural foods. You can actually starve waterfowl to death by feeding them!
- Geese with a steady food supply will stop migrating. They will stay in our ponds, defecating on the grass, walking paths, and in the water. This changes the balance of the food supply in the ponds, causing algae blooms and killing fish.
Stop the Unintentional Food Supply
- If you see a coyote, yell at it and throw things. This may seem cruel but it will maintain their natural fear of humans and keep them away from developed areas.
- It’s okay to let your dogs chase the geese. An unfriendly environment will encourage them to continue their migration to more hospitable areas.
The best thing for wild animals is to keep them wild. They’ve been managing on their own for thousands of years. Let’s let them keep being who they were meant to be.