EDITORIAL: Keep local wildlife wild

EDITORIAL: Keep local wildlife wild

Residents must step back and not feed wildlife

Everyone loves our natural habitat and the four-legged and winged creatures we share the valley with. However, we must realize that they are wild animals and our actions can negatively impact them.

Case in point are concerns about some Lumby residents intentionally feeding deer.

This may appear harmless, but it’s not as deer become reliant on non-traditional food sources, which may not necessarily be good for their metabolism.

But more importantly, knowing that someone is willing to feed them leads deer into urban habitat where they are put at risk from vehicles. And unlike the image we have of Bambi, deer can be extremely aggressive as was seen in Coldstream a couple of years ago.

“It’s something that has the potential for problems,” said Lumby Coun. Randal Ostafichuk.

Deer are also stalked by predators, such as cougars, and the arrival of those animals in an urban setting can put people and pets at risk.

As well meaning and caring as people are, they must understand that wildlife have the instincts to survive without us and our interference can disrupt those instincts.

Ideally, people would stop feeding wildlife and secure any trash that may become a source of food.

However, if the voluntary approach doesn’t work, then the legislative stick may be needed.

Lumby village staff will investigate what other municipalities have done and also contact the Ministry of Environment to investigate any existing laws on the books.

And if needed, the Village of Lumby may have to initiate bylaws that get tough on those feeding animals.