You may not realize it—a simple bag of garbage, bowl of pet food, or plate of leftovers left outside your home or vacation site, can cause severe harm to wildlife. Whether you live in a city or a rural part of California, wild animals are your neighbors. Most wild animals will not bother you. They naturally fear humans and keep their distance—so long as they remain fully wild.
But if wild animals have access to human food and garbage, they want more and more. They lose their natural fear of humans and can become aggressive.
If bears and other wild animals damage property or threaten human safety, they might be killed. Allowing wild animals access to human food is dead wrong. Please – stash your food and trash. Keep them wild.
It’s a People Problem, Not a Wildlife Problem
California’s wild animals are falling victim to unnecessary conflict and even death for a surprising reason – increasing access to human food and garbage. The problem seems to get worse every year, as California’s human population continues to grow and expand into wildlife habitat.
The Keep Me Wild campaign was launched by the California Department of Fish and Game in 2003 to address the growing conflicts between black bears and people. Today the campaign provides tips for keeping deer, coyotes, mountain lions and wild turkeys away from your home, and advice on what to do if you encounter one of these wild animals.
You Can Help
Many people do not realize the harm in feeding wildlife. Visit the Keep Me Wild website and learn how humans impact the native species in your neighborhood and where you camp. Educate yourself, your family and your friends the importance of protecting California’s wildlife.