Mississauga reminding residents not to feed wildlife after piles of meat found in parks – Toronto
The city of Mississauga is urging residents to avoid feeding wildlife after reports of large amounts of meat being dumped in parks and green spaces.
In a statement emailed to Global News, Parasan Mohanarajan, the public education officer for Mississauga’s Department of Animal Services, said the city is consuming “piles” of roast meat, ground beef, chicken, pulled pork and dog food. We have received reports that they have been found.
“We received reports on Monday that chunks of meat were dumped in Settlers’ Green Park last weekend,” the statement read. “Residents said it was as big as a bowling ball.”
According to Mohanarajan, this is not limited to public property.
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“There are concerns about meat and other food being left unattended near private property like residential properties,” he said.
Mohanarajan said the department often receives calls about discarded peanuts and other nuts, bird seeds and bread.
“Animal services have documented large amounts of meat and dog food in many areas,” the statement said. But Animal Services has never seen this level of wildlife feeding in large amounts of food dumped across Mississauga for an extended period of time.”
Mohanarajan said these do not appear to be isolated incidents.
Ultimately, Mohanarajan says feeding animals “actually does more harm than good to wildlife.”
“Feeding wildlife can increase their presence, cause them to lose their natural fear of humans and begin to approach humans,” he said. From the beginning, we depend on people for food and stop looking for food naturally.”
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Mohanarajan said wildlife can behave “aggressively.”
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“Unfortunately, when wildlife becomes acclimated to food, that is usually when they experience the most negative interactions between wildlife and humans,” the statement read. When biomass becomes readily available, wildlife can begin to flock in large numbers, leading to more disease and destroying natural habitats.”
Food dumping can also attract pests such as rodents and rats, the statement said.
The city said it had stepped up enforcement by adding more signs to warn people not to feed wildlife.
According to Mohanarajan, under the city’s animal control ordinance, feeding wild animals is illegal and carries a minimum fine of $300.
“This includes unattended food, food waste and food disposal in natural areas,” the email read.
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