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City provides reminder not to feed wild animals at parks and fields

Thursday, April 14, 2022

As the snow melts and animals begin to appear in parks and fields, the City is reminding users not to feed birds or other wild animals. Under by-law 2019-117, Animal Care and Control by-law, no person shall intentionally feed a wild animal or leave food or attractants of any type to attract or be accessible by a wild animal. 
 
“In our parks and fields, the geese in particular leave behind quite a mess for our municipality to clean up,” said Travis Reid, Manager of Parks. “Geese are wild species and change their behaviours year over year in response to control measures we have put in place. We ask that all visitors to City parks and fields refrain from feeding wild animals including birds.”
 
The City undertakes a number of approved geese prevention methods including the use of scare guns primarily at soccer and ball fields. The City has also been changing the shoreline design to mitigate high water erosion making it less appealing for geese to feed on the grass.
 
“Trained and qualified staff use humane methods to move geese off of the waterfront parks and recreational fields and into safer environments. No geese are harmed by the City’s program,” adds Reid.
 
As the City works to improve waterfront parks and fields, you can help by not feeding birds, ducks, geese, gulls and other animals:
  • Wild animal and bird poop can be a potential health hazard. Feeding can attract animals, resulting in large amounts of poop in the grass, sand and water.
  • Wild animals and birds that are fed food scraps lose their fear of humans and become aggressive.
  • Wild animals and birds that eat food scraps do not get all the nutrients found in their natural diet. As a result, they may be less healthy and become dependent on people.
  • Most birds fly south in the winter to find other sources of food. Feeding birds may encourage them to stay longer and rely on human food to survive.
Please do your part in keeping our parks and fields clean and safe. For more information contact Public Works at 705-759-5201 or email pwt@cityssm.on.ca.
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Sault Ste. Marie, ON
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