GPW: Self-Tempered Anarchy since 2009

Your GPW Editor-on-Occasion is Petra Fried in the City.
Send us your stories, ideas, and information. Insiders welcome - confidentiality guaranteed.

stories along The Way

Monday, November 23, 2009

New do-not-feed-wildlife signs are up

In spite of what you may hear at Tom LaBonge's press conference today, the new "do not feed the wildlife" signs have already been up in Griffith Park for almost a week, and the Department of Recreation and Parks was the lead agency in their development.*   Here's a pic we took on Saturday of a new sign on Zoo Drive near Travel Town.

This is a far better sign in communicating the serious nature of the illegal act. The old yellow signs that simply said "Please Do Not Feed Wildlife" made it sound as if it were a polite request rather than a law and an issue with serious ramifications.

It is illegal to feed wildlife with very good reason. A fed wild animal is a dead wild animal, and everyone encountering animals that are not someone's pet needs to remember this.  The feeding of wildlife, especially coyotes, has been almost an epidemic in Griffth Park for some time. People pull their cars off the road and throw handouts to begging coyotes. Some individuals have been caught carrying food and feed dishes into the park daily to feed coyotes.

This thoughtless action - illegally feeding wildlife - by just a few people has dire consequences for many other lives. Fed wild animals lose their fear of humans and can then start actively seeking humans as providers of food. When humans are bitten by hungry animals like coyotes, they can be seriously injured and require treatment and painful rabies injections. If a prey animal like a coyote or bear bites a human, their life and the life of their packmates can be forfeit, such as what happened a few months ago in Griffith Park when a man named Renualdo Pensicola**  was bitten on the foot by a coyote asking to be fed.

Coyotes are dangerous animals. They are not "dogs". They will eat your dogs, and some varieties of coyotes can and do kill people, as happened in Nova Scotia in October. Please remember to give all wildlife the proper respect and distance the next time you are enjoying the out of doors. By doing so, you are helping to keep wildlife wild.

*Not sure why we even care that the council office takes credit for stuff they didn't have much or anything, really, to do with, except that the behavior is a statement on the quality of the leadership. Good leadership credits the people who take the initiative and do the work. Insecure or ineffective leadership claims credit for others' initiative and work. 
**This is a phonetic spelling of the gentleman's name. KTLA reported the name this morning on air.