Several years ago, we operated an office in the Quepos area. I used to spend about one week every month there. On one visit I started to notice thick blue ropes strung across the road, about twenty feet up. I was informed that they were the new “monkey bridges”. One of the major causes of death for monkeys is power lines. They usually travel from tree limb to tree limb. When they encounter a wide street, they will sometimes us a power line to cross over. The problem occurs when they grab two lines at once, and complete the circuit. Instant death occurs.
I found that the monkey bridge project was initiated by the nine year old daughter of a local hotel owner. She started an organization “Kids Saving the Rainforest.” In the last eleven years, the have expanded into a rehab center for injured wildlife, along with many other projects. You can learn more about they are up to at their web site: www.kidssavingtherainforest.org.
The following is their list of ten reasons for not feeding the monkeys, or wildlife in general.
10 REASONS NOT TO FEED THE WILDLIFE!
You might find feeding wild animals to be a thrilling experience, but you are not doing them a favor. In fact, you are actually harming them.
- Wild animals are highly susceptible to diseases from human hands. They can die from bacteria transferred off your hand that has no ill effect on you.
- Migration to human-populated areas to be fed increases the risk of dog attacks and road accidents.
- Irregular feeding leads to an aggressive behavior towards humans and other species.
- Fruit, especially those containing pesticides, can be upsetting to the animals’ digestive system and cause serious problems that can lead to eventual death.
- Feeding creates a dangerous dependency on humans that diminishes the animals’ survival abilities.
- Feeding interferes with the animals’ natural habits and upsets the balance of their lifestyle.
- Contact with humans facilitates poaching and the trade in illegal wildlife.
- Pregnant females who are fed nothing but unhealthy food from humans during their pregnancy will not give birth to healthy infants. The babies will be malnourished, or never develop to term, and die before birth.
- Wild animals need to travel a large distance each day to be in good physical condition. If they know that food is available in a particular location, they will not leave that area.
- Not only do we pass on diseases to animals when we feed them by hand, but they can pass diseases to us as well.
The wildlife does not realize any of this. Now YOU do. Don’t facilitate the extinction of Nature’s most amazing creatures for your own pleasure or financial gain.