Please don’t feed the animals

I went on a nature adventure with my oldest today. It was great to be outside walking around in the woods.  There’s green space not too far from the house and once you’re 5 minutes down the path you can’t see anything but trees, bog and fields.  We love exploring there.  

As it was a nice day, I wasn’t surprised to encounter other families out on the trails.  I was surprised when I came across a mom and her daughter walking with a giant bag of sliced apples, carrots and other ‘rabbit food’.  They asked if I’d seen any deer.  They were out looking for deer so that they could feed them.  Yikes!  Deer are wild animals.  It’s not like they were tempting tigers or anything, but never the less, the deers in the forest need to learn to fend for themselves.  

I was further unnerved when we did see deer.  In fact we got to see many families as we continued through the woods.  The young ones would come closer to you when you made noise (as a pair of three year olds can do without a moments hesitation!)  We even had one little dear follow us down the path for 50 meters, and my little one was crying wanting to know why he couldn’t go pet it.  

Then he asked why the little ones didn’t have antlers.  This offered me a perfect entre into why we couldn’t pat the animal:  because it’s a baby and it’s daddy will have antlers.

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