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Tourists asked not to feed wild animals

Cozumel, Q.R. — Authorities on Cozumel say tourists feeding local wildlife only puts them in danger and suggests people not feed wild animals.

The announcement was made after tourists were seen feeding a group of coatis. The animals were snacking on human food being tossed to them in the area of Puerta Maya. Island biologist Rafael Chacón Díaz, says this practice eventually brings more harm than benefits to the animals by accustoming them to approaching people and encouraging them to enter urban areas.

Chacón Díaz says he understands that people feed these animals in the northern area of Cozumel in good will, but it is not recommended.

“These animals are practically omnivorous and they always seek to feed themselves and their young, but in doing so, they look for food with people which puts them at risk, since there will be not-so-nice people who will seek to lock them up or hunt them,” explained the expert adding that “There are also those who lose their fear of the urban areas and end up being run over.”

“You can’t watch the whole community, but ideally, don’t feed them,” the biologist reiterated.