Islooites Beware: Feeding human food to wildlife species unhealthy

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The human empathy and affection towards animals and wildlife species could be harmful as human food may cause diseases or damage their health due to its unhealthy nature for animals.

The scenic federal capital resting close to a living ecosystem of thriving Asian Leopards and foothills of the Himalayan Mountain range has reported various incidents of human wildlife conflict as abundant wildlife species live in the Margalla Hills National Park.

An Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) official told APP that the Forest Guards of the Board were repeatedly exhorting the masses to avoid feeding boiled corn or other eatables to monkeys and other animals found in the national park.

“There have been many instances of human wildlife conflict in the National Park when the monkeys attacked visitors for not feeding food. This is the ultimate consequence that needs to be prevented”, he added.

The IWMB official mentioned that there was no need to humans to feed monkeys or other wildlife species as they have plenty of prey or food available in their natural ecosystem.

Human intervention damaged this cycle and forced the animals to rely on their feeding and deviating them from their natural system which was damaging, he added.

He informed that the people visiting Faisal Mosque love to watch spotted deers and zebras in the enclosures on the way to the mosque. They used to feed buns, biscuits, popcorn or other eatables to these animals that left serious impact on the animal health, he added.

According to the Tufts Wildlife Clinic in Massachusetts, USA claimed that it was encouraging the masses to take interest and appreciate wildlife but feeding wild animals could lead to injury or disease for the animal.

“People food isn’t good for animals. Human foods aren’t nutritious enough for animals and may cause serious health problems. A deformity called “angel wing” is commonly found in ducks, geese, swans and other waterfowl who are fed white bread, popcorn, crackers, or other people food”, it said.

The Clinic on its website underlined a pertinent issues stating that feeding human food made the wild animals lose their natural fear of people. “Feeding can make large, potentially dangerous animals become too comfortable in residential or recreational areas. Once animals learn they can panhandle for food, they can become a nuisance — or even worse, a safety risk”, it said.It added that feeding wild animals from running vehicles or near vehicles was also dangerous as it could collectively harm animals, people and property. The IWMB in its Twitter official handle shared that the Board staff on April 27th rescued a Sparrow Hawk’s chick from F-7 sector on citizen complaint. It encouraged the masses to report in case of any complaints and rescue regarding wildlife on the following contacts: