Summit Up 6-3-12: Where we’re resisting the urge to feed the adorable little monsters

Summit Up
Summit Daily/Mark Fox

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that feels compelled, on this most lovely of June 3rds, to return to a previous topic we discussed last week which we know all you fans of the show have spent the last seven days digesting: portion sizes.

Ha, ha.

Get it?

Digesting? Portion sizes?

(sound of crickets)

OK, never mind. For those of you who missed our brilliantly witty diatribe on portion sizes of a previous Sunday, fear not! We’re about to Summit Up for you.

Get it?


Summit Up: Alright, so the gist of it was that sometimes bigger is better, but not when it comes to portion sizes because bigger portions equal bigger people and heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the U.S. and blabbady, blah, blah, blah. For full disclosure purposes we feel we should tell you that even as we’re typing this we’re sucking down an exquisite breakfast burrito from Abbey’s in Frisco.

MSUR: Ooooh, yum, what was in it?

SU: Oh, it’s divine; it has the perfect combination of scrambled eggs and diced potatoes, plus some little bits of bacon smothered with melted cheese – no! That’s beside the point. The point today is that just as we informed you last week that big portions are bad for people, we and the nice folks at pretty much every local environmental or forestry agency want to remind you that big portion sizes … actually any portion sizes are bad for animals too. Wild animals, that is. Please don’t stop feeding your hamster. It will die.

But unlike Squeakers, wild animals are well equipped to feed and generally take care of themselves. We think most people know this, yet the majority of them seem unable to resist the urge to feed the local fauna, especially the cute ones. Based on a recent close encounter we had with a colony of chipmunks up on Sapphire Point, those freakin’ adorable little monsters have made out like bandits. They definitely were not afraid of us, and they should be because we’re like 467 times their size and they frankly aren’t that ferocious. Which leads us to believe somebody or somebodies out there have been slipping them some food on the side.

While we’re sure they are very appreciative and probably ridiculously cute when offered unsolicited meals from the general public, it’s still not a good idea to feed them, so says the Colorado Division of Wildlife. Sez here on its website:

“We know people mean well when they give tidbits to wildlife. But what many don’t realize is that feeding big game is bad for the animals and dangerous for people.”

According to this site, there are lots of good reasons not to feed the wildlife. They include:

1. It’s illegal.

2. Junk food is really bad for animals, especially herbivores. It can cause nutritional problems and death.

3. It dispels the animals’ healthy fear of humans and may entice them to come too close to cars or people. For predators, this can be dangerous and often results in the animal having to be destroyed. They say a fed bear is a dead bear.

4. Diseases spread among the animals clustered around the food.

5. It can cause population sizes to grow beyond what natural food resources can support.

So people, please don’t feed the ducks. Or the deer. And definitely not the bears.


That’s all for today. See you back here tomorrow, same time, same place.

We out.

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