Animals play a significant role in the ecosystem by maintaining the balance of the environment. In addition to the country's sanctuaries, the zoos are supposed to take proper measures to provide food for the health of the animals. Even then, it is often seen that visitors at the zoo try to feed the animals their own food, which can have detrimental effects on both animals and visitors. Let's find out the reasons not to feed the animals your food at the zoo.
Why you shouldn’t feed the animals your food at the zoo
Breaking dietary control
You will be surprised to know that animals are kept on a specific diet based on their species at the zoo. Generally, critters’ digestive system is very sensitive as they take time to evolve with the food they are given. At the zoo, they are trained to systematically cope with the food they are given. Therefore, human food, in this case, becomes a new thing for them to adapt to.
Eventually, they can keep rejecting their daily food due to random taking in despite the timetable. This can lead to a decline in their ability to survive.
Moreover, some human food is full of additives including sodium and sugars. You often take high processed fried and spicy food, sugary drinks, sausages, and alcohol at the zoo. These are very poisonous to critters. This would cause some severe health issues.
A deformity called "angel wing" is often seen in geese and ducks who are regularly fed white crackers, bread, and popcorn. Moreover, a diet that is good for you can pose a serious risk to animals, especially young ones, who need certain nutrients as they grow older.
Damaging reproduction system
Everyday artificial feeding can push animals into unbalanced reproduction. By stopping feeding, you can cut off the supply of those artificial foods to the animals. This may prevent the animal from relying on natural resources for additional breeding. Reproductive imbalances affect not just one species, but an entire ecosystem, leading to unintended environmental consequences.
In the case of pregnant animals, it is difficult to give birth. In many cases, the baby critter may even die at birth.
Suffering from various diseases
The zookeepers may have to deal with various diseases which lead them to emergency treatment for animals. Starting from a general bad feeling to a big disease like diarrhea even death in the ultimate case can occur. Like a human, critters also have stomach bugs. It can happen from any type of inappropriate food you give them.
The horrible thing is that a health issue named bloat happens to Ruminate species of animals like Giraffe that eat too many wrong types of foods. It happens when the rumen pH inside them becomes inconsistent. Accordingly, the foods in their stomach are getting fermented. Foods then start to be foam which in turn can’t pass the gases away. As a result, diarrhea and sometimes even death can occur within a few hours if it is in an acute state.
Moreover, a stick or leaves can also be harmful to animals. You must know that plants have tannins, a natural compound that helps protect them from prey. Tannic acid, produced by these plants in huge quantities, can lead to nausea, stomach irritation, liver damage, and vomiting.