As a first step toward addressing growing concern about the wildlife in the Big Springs Municipal Park in Huntsville, city officials have established a humane feeding policy, garnering praise from The Humane Society of the United States.
Big Springs Municipal Park is a popular place for families to enjoy the outdoors, and feeding the ducks and geese there is a favorite pastime. However, recently city leaders have developed concerns about the consequences on the wildlife. Over-enthusiastic feeding can result in a dense population of birds, who then learn to depend on the human hand for food. Additionally, processed foods, such as bread, can be harmful to the waterfowl and result in a crippling condition called “Angel Wing.”
In response to the issue, officials have instituted a policy that prohibits visitors from bringing in any food items to the park but provides appropriate pelleted food in vending machines. This policy will also create a system to taper off all feeding, while ensuring that the citizens and urban wildlife live in harmony.
“This encapsulates the modern approach to wildlife conflicts, which is to first understand how animals shares our urban spaces, come up with an appropriate solution that protects that animal, and then taking steps to prevent the conflict from occurring in the future,” said Mindy Gilbert, Alabama state director for The HSUS.
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