Feeding wild animals during a fire: a false good idea

Fires have been raging in France since the beginning of the summer. Gard, Bouches-du-Rhône, Landes or Finistère, they are tens of hectares that went up in smoke. In the middle of this pile of ashes, wild animals try to survive. And contrary to popular belief, if you’re tempted to feed animals in need, know that it’s a bad idea. We explain why.

Why shouldn’t wild animals be fed after fires?

With these looming fires, the temptation to feed wild animals is great. But this is a false good idea, as explained by the League for the Protection of Birds (LPO). Indeed, depositing food in the forest is strongly discouraged for many reasons.

Risk of contamination of nature

Many forests are now weakened by the flames. Putting food (often unsuitable, such as bread) in the beds is risky contaminate the fauna AND flora. In fact, bacteria can develop there and cause poisoning in certain animals. In addition, plants can be affected, while unsuitable plants and seeds can grow in these already weakened sites.

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Risk of endangering animals

The mistake would be to deposit food near a road or area that is still at risk of fire. If so, you are endangering wild animals because they are not immune to it victim of a collision with a vehicle or to become prisoner of flames. For their safety (and yours), don’t feed them!

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Risk of animal habituation

A wild animal does not need the help of a human to feed itself. Leaving food in the forest puts you at risk make it a habit with deer, wild boars, squirrels, etc. As a result, they are gradually domesticated, they no longer search for food on their own and they move closer to home. In addition, you could promote the spread of diseases between animals, as well as zoonoses (infectious diseases that are transmitted from animals to humans).

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How to help animals after a fire?

While it is strongly discouraged to leave food for animals in the forest, it is recommended that you leave shallow water tanks. And so that birds, squirrels and other small animals do not drown in the container, it is best to place stones on each side. Of course, if you see an injured or weakened animal, contact the nearest care center immediately.

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Go here to learn all about the right gestures to adopt. Did you like this article? Moving on, here’s how to react if you encounter a wild animal.

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