Feeding wildlife creates issues

Game and Fish advises to stop the practice

Arizona Game & Fish Department/Courtesy<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->This helpless elk got its head caught in a trash can lid as it tried to forage for food in the Hualapai Mountains. <br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 --><br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->

Arizona Game & Fish Department/Courtesy<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->This helpless elk got its head caught in a trash can lid as it tried to forage for food in the Hualapai Mountains. <br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 --><br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->

Even though we are into early summer, there are still a lot of animals being born.

Look around and you will see little quail and even a lot of young cottontail rabbits.

Other birds and mammals also have their young with them.

Many homeowners may see what they think is an abandoned or lost bunny or little baby quail or dove who is by itself.

But you must overcome the urge to "rescue" these little critters, says Zen Mocarski, the information and education program manager for Region III of the Arizona Game & Fish Department.

For most of the time, a mother or father is nearby, just waiting for you to leave, so they can reunite with their little ones.

Another problem continues to be good-hearted folks feeding wildlife.

"People are not helping the animals. In fact, in many instances they are contributing to increased wildlife deaths," Mocarski said.

A good example is of homeowners feeding quail.

"This practice is more about people wanting to see animals rather than helping them," he said. "What they don't realize is that across the street there is a pair of roadrunners, just waiting to dine on the little chicks."

Mocarski said public safety can be compromised when they put out food on the ground.

It can result in the department to have to utilize lethal methods to remove potentially dangerous wildlife.

"Many of the situations of nuisance wildlife can be avoided if people would just stop feeding wildlife or making food sources available," Mocarski said.