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REFUSE THE INTERACTION

Wildlife do not benefit from our interactions with them. Their food driven motivation greatly increases the chances of wildlife human conflict that could have been avoided.

Be responsible for them

 
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It can be a thrill to feed the seabirds, to have them swoop down and snatch a fish from between your fingers or to catch it out the air with amazing precision. But birds can't tell the difference between sardines being offered to them, and bait being cast on a hook.

Every year we see seabirds on Ambergris Caye who have been hooked or tangled in fishing gear, most as a result of having been fed.

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Some have horrific injuries from which there's no recovery, while others may have to spend months in rehabilitation potentially missing their migration.

 

Crocodiles in Belize naturally fear people, but fed crocs are
more likely to seek out humans as a food source, attacking pets or consuming garbage that smells like food.
There is nowhere on the island where you can feed
crocodiles without causing harm, and the "wildlife refuge" on the north road behind the restaurants is nothing but wild crocodiles being fed for the purpose of making money. Don't be fooled.

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This crocodile from the "wildlife refuge" was found dangerously emaciated and suffering a deadly infection in the remaining half of his tail after a territorial dispute with another crocodile. A dispute that only happened because those crocodiles are living in unnaturally concentrated numbers due to being fed. After the decision to euthanize was made, a necropsy showed 82 plastic bags inside this poor fellas stomach, most of which were chicken bags which had been folded meticulously into little squares for the poor animal. This croc starved to death on a full stomach for the better part of a year.

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Fed monkeys who have lost their natural fear will come down to the ground around people instead of staying in the trees where they're safe. This makes them far more susceptible to dogs, poachers, cars, and they can be in danger if they become a nuisance to homes or farmers. Whether you see the animal being fed or not, know that no monkey will leave the safety of the tree tops just because he's been called or because he wants you to have an Instagram moment.
That animal is being fed.

To ensure their long term survivability, these individuals then have to be removed from the wild and placed in a rehabilitation program. It takes many years for them to be fully rehabilitated and released back into the wild as part of a troop.

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Under the Forest Act, CAP 213 of the Substantive Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2017, molesting (including feeding or interacting with) wildlife is a crime punishable with a fine of up to $25,000 and/or 12 months in jail. Interacting with animals in a way that changes their behavior put them, people, or pets at risk.

To report a wildlife crime, you can contact the Belize Forest Department on 8221524 or email wildlife.manager@forest.gov.bz