Feeding wild animals


Sir, – While walking in the wonderful Phoenix Park recently, I passed a man with a bag of carrots who was obviously intending to feed the nearby herd of wild deer.

I pointed out that feeding the deer was clearly prohibited and not in the interests of the herd and was met with a volley of abuse and told in no uncertain terms to mind my own business – despite the presence of the man’s two children.

Clearly some people enjoy interacting with animals and blind themselves to the consequences of their actions, particularly when it comes to handsome animals such as deer. However, throughout the city I have seen people deliberately feeding seagulls on the quays, pigeons in train stations and grey squirrels in the park.

Can I reassure your readers than these wild animals will not die a painful death without ostensibly well-intentioned interventions and that in fact it is better to leave well enough alone. In fact, those who truly care about nature should keep an appropriate distance from wild animals and encourage others to do the same. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 8.