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The danger of giving food to animals in the zoo
All of us who have visited in a zoo, reserve or natural park know the famous plates that pray ‘prohibited feeding animals’. But surely many of us still ask ourselves if it is so dangerous to give food to animals in the zoo.
It is not difficult to understand why, in principle, the act of feeding them seems harmless. Animals generate empathy and feel bad for denying them a piece of sandwich or a cookie; However, we must understand that this act represents a risk to your health.
Why is it so dangerous to give food to animals in the zoo?
The main reason because our food seems so attractive and striking for animals is that it is not part of their natural diet. In other words, your organism is not biologically to prepared to digest and assimilate all the food we consume.
Logically, not all human meals are bad for animals. For example, there are many species that usually consume fruits, vegetables or cereals to complement their diet, as we do.
Actually, industrialized or spicy foods, sausages, fried frying or drinks are not recommended and can be toxic to many animals. The same applies to alcohol and many other products that we use in our day to day.
Dogs and chocolate: an enlightening example
To understand the risks of human food for animals, let’s think of the dogs that many of us choose to adopt. While we can offer certain human meals to our dog friends, many foods that we consume daily can generate health problems.
Continuing with the examples, let’s take chocolate, one of the most beloved sweets and we consume for human beings. Dogs, cats and many other animals are unable to digest this food; among other things, because its organism does not produce the enzymes necessary to assimilate all its components.
Consequently, chocolate consumption (even in small doses) can cause undesirable adverse effects on animals. The most frequent consequences are digestive disorders, vomiting and diarrhea, which usually appear a few hours after intake. Tachycardia and behavioral alterations can also develop, such as hyperactivity, thanks to caffeine present in chocolate. Already the highest dose consumption could get into the animal; The consequence will be respiratory problems and the risk of a heart failure.
Risks of giving human food to animals in the zoo
As the previous example demonstrates, there are many ‘hidden’ risks in the seemingly harmless habit of giving human food to animals. Even when we talk about company animals, which are adapted to coexistence with human beings.
Now let’s think of wild animals that have not experienced a domestication process. Human food for them is completely strange, but potentially attractive. As we usually use condiments and many ingredients in our preparations, our food is a completely new mix of aromas for animals. Therefore, it is very common for them to demonstrate curiosity and feel attracted to try the snacks that we offer them.
Some risks to take into account
However, the habit of feeding them presents the following risks:
- Many animals can react negatively to human presence by feeling threatened. So approaching food is a potential danger to both.
- The fact of habituating animals to feed so specially, can foster a dependency in relation to man. Consequently, your aptitude to survive on your own is reduced in a wild environment.
- Feed migratory birds can interfere with their vital cycles, including even reproduction and conservation of the species.
- Inappropriate food consumption can favor disease development, such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, among others.
- The incorporation of new foods in the animal diet can generate a rejection of their daily diet; This will be harmed its nutrition, and consequently its health status.
- Many human meals can generate allergies in animals, digestive problems and even poisoning.
Is it also dangerous to feed the animals of the parks?
We have already seen that wild species are not biologically prepared to consume human food or become dependent on men. Therefore, we should never give food to animals in the zoo.
The question is: Is it also dangerous to feed the animals that are in urban parks? That is, pigeons, ducks, swans, or even dogs and cats. and the answer is affirmative.
Although these animals are common to human presence, their organism has not changed biologically for this reason. That is, they must follow an appropriate diet to the nutritional requirements of their species to preserve good health.