“Go away! Get out of here! My food!”
You can hear a little girl scream as she tries to shoo away an aggressive squirrel who is trying to steal her fries. A few tables over you can see a couple feeding their potato chips to some ducks that are begging at their feet below.
Another child screams and cries from the comfort of a stroller because a bird just flew by swiping the child’s hot dog lunch. You can also see a man putting popcorn on his shoe encouraging a squirrel to come up to him and grab the treat from his shoe.
This is a common sight when eating seen while dining at an outside venue at the Walt Disney World Resorts. You see many guests struggling with the aggressive wildlife, which have become dependent upon handouts from other guests who do not realize the harm they are causing when feeding the animals.
Wild animals are constantly searching for food and when humans feed them it changes the way they look for food. This also leads to the loss of their natural fear of humans, among causing other issues for the animals and guests that visit the Central Florida theme parks.
Below are some of the reasons why you should not feed the wild animals while visiting the Walt Disney World Resorts:
- By feeding the animals you make them more aggressive and can cause them to sometimes attack when there is a guest who does not feed them like many in the past have.
- It changes their natural instincts, making them unable to seek out food on their own in the wild.
- Wild animals carry a wide range of diseases, some of which can be transmitted to humans through contact, such as rabies.
- It makes them really, really annoying when trying to enjoy your lunch outside and they are underneath your feet begging for food.
- Some people food is not formulated for animals to consume and can cause harm to their digestive systems making them ill and potentially lead to death of the animal.
Some wildlife located at the Walt Disney World Resorts include rabbits, squirrels, seagulls, birds, ducks, pelicans and yes, there are a few alligators in the waters. Though many of these animals are more annoying than anything else, others can be dangerous. There have been no incidents of alligators going into guest areas, but this is mainly because of the strict policy that Disney has with not feeding the alligators. Plus, it is illegal to feed, harass or approach and alligator in the state of Florida. The feeding of alligators does what it does with other wildlife, makes them immune to human contact and may attack when not fed by a guest after being fed by many before.
The Humane Society of the United States is opposed to the feeding of wildlife, especially when it can affect the animal’s natural instincts. Click here to see the article “Four Reasons Not to Feed Wildlife” on the Humane Society’s website.
So, for the safety of you, your family and for many guests in the future, please do not feed the wildlife while visiting the Walt Disney World Resorts. It is not only dangerous and annoying, but in some cases, illegal.