7 Ways You Could Unknowingly Be Hurting Wildlife

In the summer of 2016, a man and his son found a newborn bison calf alone at the side of a road in Yellowstone National Park. They thought the animal was freezing and decided to put it in their SUV and bring it to a ranger station. When park officials attempted to reintroduce the calf to its herd, it was rejected by its mother and insisted on approaching park visitors, causing a traffic hazard. Officials had no choice but to euthanize the poor creature.

Youíre probably aware of some of the ways humans hurt animals: furs, leather, snake skin and crocodile skin come to mind. Modern medicine tests widely on animals, and Chinese traditional medicine uses animals and animal parts.

But here are seven ways in which you may be unknowingly hurting animals.

1. Rescuing Baby Wildlife.

If you find a baby animal, check whether the animal is hurt or sick. Look to see if it has a broken body part, or isshivering, throwing up or bleeding. If so, then the animal needs help and the best course of action is to contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator immediately. If not, then there’s a good chance that the animal is not orphaned, but that mom is off foraging for food, which can take a long time. Donít follow the example of the Yellowstone visitors.†Let nature take its course.

2.Feeding Wildlife.

Iím not talking about feeding birds in your garden. We have five bird feeders in our backyard and we love watching the downy woodpeckers, juncos, chickadees and occasional finches enjoying the food weíve purchased especially for them. But feeding other types of wildlife makes those animals less afraid of people and more likely to become a nuisance, which can lead to danger for both the animals and the people feeding them.


Photo Credit: Stefan Leijon

3. Purchasing Six-Pack Rings.

Youíre undoubtedly aware that the six-pack rings that hold soda and beer are very harmful to wildlife, who can become entangled in them. And cutting them up in tiny pieces can still pose a threat to marine animals who may ingest them. A brewery in Florida has come up with an ingenious way to solve this problem, by creating rings made of barley and wheat, which are both biodegradable and edible. But still, why not just entirely ditch those six-pack rings to avoid hurting wildlife?

4. Discarding Food or Litter Out The Window.

If you throw food litter out of your car while driving, you may entice nearby animals to approach the roadway. This is how accidents happen. Deposit your litter in a garbage can and save lives. By the same token, if youíre a hiker or backpacker in bear country, youíre familiar with the metal food lockers at campsites andtrailheads. They are there to protect your food from being stolen, but also to protect the animals. Human food is not appropriate for wild animals, whose nature is to forage, but those creatures will take such food if itís left around for them. †

5. Throwing Cigarette Butts Onto The Ground.

Maybe you donít smoke, but you probably know someone who does. Let them know that if cigarette butts are ingested, an animal can become poisoned by toxins or choke. These butts may also be carried from storm sewers to waterways and streams and pose a threat to marine animals. Please dispose of those cigarette butts in a way that doesnít threaten the lives of innocent animals (and children, of course.)


Photo Credit: thinkstock

6. Leaving Large Expanses Of Glass Unmarked.

To avoid having birds collide with large sections of glass such as patio doors or windows, break up the glass reflection by adding decals, crystals, streamers or other obstacles outside. It will be an extra deterrent if these objects sway in the wind. For large windows, you can also add one-way transparent film, which doesnít affect your view from the inside, but will look like an opaque surface from the outside. Let your windows be a bit dirty! You can find more tips here.

7. Uncovering Chimneys And Vents.

Be sure to place caps over any chimney and vents on your roof. That way, you can avoid hearing a terrified bird trapped in your chimney or watching a frantic bird flying around your house looking for a way to escape. You will also prevent animals such as raccoons from becoming a nuisance by taking up residence in your home.


Photo Credit: Pixabay


Chrissie R
Chrissie R25 days ago

Thank you for posting.

Melania P
Melania Pabout a month ago

Great tips, sharing as well

Marie W
Marie Wabout a month ago

Thank you.

Jane Howard
Jane Howard6 months ago

Thanks for info...

Arlene C
Arlene C6 months ago

Merci Judy

Kalliope M
Kalliope M6 months ago

Thanks for the article - petition already signed; Honestly, in the meantime I always take a bag with me, if I go for a walk, because this year I never had a walk, without taking trash away out of nature. At my last walk I found two plastic bags with several electrical things mixed with other trash and took them away. I took them home to then dispose the garbage properly as it should. But, I was very annoyed about those people, which left it in nature!

Marija M
Marija M6 months ago

tks for good advice.

Cathy B
Cathy B6 months ago

Sound info. Thank you.

Liliana Garcia
Liliana Garcia6 months ago

Thanks for this article. It's unbelievable there was no way to raise the baby bison!

Teresa W
Teresa W6 months ago

I already knew some of this.