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Original post made on Aug 23, 2013

FEEDING FRENZY ... Today, "Do not feed the animals" is just a friendly suggestion at Palo Alto parks. Soon, it could become the law of the land. The city's Parks and Recreation Commission is scheduled to consider on Tuesday night a new ordinance that would prohibit feeding of wildlife and feral cats at all parks and open space areas. The feeding of wild animals is most common at the Baylands Duck Pond, where visitors have been offering snacks to geese, ducks and squirrels for decades. These days, the feeding of wildlife and feral animals is "causing problems in our urban parks and all our open space areas," Open Space Manager Daren Anderson wrote in a new report. The feeding of crows, ravens and jays only attracts more of these nuisance species to the city's neighborhoods, parks and natural areas, Anderson wrote. "These aggressive species prey on nesting birds throughout Palo Alto, consuming eggs and chicks of songbirds, raptors and even endangered species in the Baylands," he wrote. Those who feed feral cats unwittingly exacerbate the problem by luring other animals to feeding stations, including rats, skunks, racoons and opossums. Anderson lists many other unintended consequences of human generosity: park benches and walkways covered in bird feces; an uptick in coyotes at the Pearson-Arastradero Preserve; increasingly aggressive squirrels and waterfowl; and foxes that appear to take a page out of Yogi Bear's playbook. "At the Palo Alto Golf Course, visitors have fed grey foxes, a practice that has led to aggressive animal behavior," Anderson wrote. "There have been several reports of foxes taking food out of golf carts, and approaching people who have food without any fear." If the ordinance is approved by the City Council, residents will have a new reason to respect the signs asking them not to feed the animals: a fine of up to $250.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, August 23, 2013, 12:00 AM


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Posted by Carroll HarriNgton
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 23, 2013 at 1:29 am

Kudos to Mary and Joe for their well-deserved honors! Joe is also being honored by Save Our Shores for working to protect the ocean when he was n the Senate.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 23, 2013 at 7:35 am

There is a difference between feeding the wildlife and the wildlife helping themselves to our food.

Black crows have attacked my groceries as I was unloading my car, one actually pulled a baguette out of the bag while I was taking in other bags. They are very aggressive and a big problem. I don't remember them being here 10 years ago.

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Posted by resident
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 23, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Animals become aggressive when people feed them. Get your neighbors to stop feeding the animals and they will leave you alone. this includes people being sloppy at picnic grounds, leaving food on the table unguarded and not picking up food scraps from the ground.