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Why You Should Never Feed Wildlife

Feeding Wildlife is Prohibited in Costa Rica

Wild animals, like pizotes can spread diseases and become aggressive towards humans.

At Refuge for Wildlife we often receive emergency phone calls from people asking us to remove an aggressive wild animal that they were feeding.  These animals, now completely dependent on humans, can never be returned to the forest and must remain in a cage for the rest of their lives. In many incidents, people have been bitten and injured by the wild animal they were “taming”.

Healthy wild animals that are behaving normally will not approach humans. When humans encourage wildlife to behave differently than their instincts, by feeding or touching them, it causes irreversible damage that is often life-threatening. Feeding wildlife is not only illegal in Costa Rica, it is dangerous and a form of animal cruelty.

This monkey cannot be released because he is humanized.

12 Reasons You Should Never Feed Wildlife

  1. All wild animals can be aggressive and cause severe injuries to humans
  2. Wildlife may carry dangerous diseases, such as rabies
  3. A human encounter can cause irreversible behavioral damage for the animal
  4. Wildlife will become dependent on humans for food
  5. The animal will start to damage your property to gain access to food
  6. Many humans foods are not suitable for wildlife and can cause illness or death
  7. Wild animals are often injured or killed by domestic pets when they get close to homes
  8. “Friendly” wildlife are mistaken for having rabies and may be killed
  9. Animals might be hurt or killed when they approach a human aggressively seeking food
  10. Wild animals are susceptible to human illnesses which can infect entire wildlife populations
  11. Aggressive animals will be captured by authorities and placed in a sanctuary or zoo
  12. Once humanized, wildlife can never be successfully returned to the forest