There are several reasons why visitors should not feed wildlife in natural areas, including Virginia’s seaside:
- Most wild animals need to eat specific kinds of food to stay healthy and therefore “people food” is not good for them and in some cases can cause wildlife to become sick or even die.
- Feeding wildlife can make the animals become comfortable around people which can lead to them becoming a nuisance or safety risk to humans and themselves.
- Feeding can attract certain types of wildlife into areas where they normally would not be and result in them becoming a threat to other wildlife (e.g. attracting raccoons into bird nesting areas). This can result in those animals unnecessarily becoming the target of management actions.
- Feeding wild animals can spread diseases when groups of animals congregate unnaturally to take advantage of an artificial food source.
When visiting Virginia’s seaside, please observe wildlife from a distance and remember that feeding them will cause more harm than good.