100,000 People Have Retweeted A Park's Sign About Not Feeding Ducks Bread — And For Good Reason

"Bread makes us ill."

A sign at a park that requests that visitors not feed ducks bread has stunned many people after one Twitter user tweeted a photo of it. The tweet has gone on to be shared over 90,000 times since it was posted on March 22, with many people expressing shock at the information.

The sign reads:

"Bread makes us ill, as it does not contain the right nutrition or calories that we need to keep us warm in winter. Rotting bread pollutes our water and causes nasty surface algae, which kills our fish and gives us diseases. It also makes our water smell. We do like: Half cut seedless grapes, cooked rice, birdseed (any type of mix), peas, corn, oats and chopped lettuce."

Now that it is officially spring, many people are going to the park and enjoying the warmer weather. And that's why it's important to have reminders like this that will help preserve wildlife.

Bread lacks many of the nutrients that ducks need. If ducks are consistently overfed bread, this results in them becoming undernourished, which can lead to weakened immune systems that in turn make them more susceptible to diseases. As the viral sign in the park points out, if you do want to feed the ducks, make sure you're giving them the right foods in the right proportions. Cooked grains, bird seed, cut up cabbage, and corn are OK.

This lack of nutrients from eating too much bread can also result in a condition known as "angel wing." It causes birds' wings to point to the side or out rather than towards their body. Tragically, it can limit their ability to fly.

And any leftover bread is bad for the environment and the ducks, too.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation cautions that leftover bread rots on the water which can lead to the development of avian botulism, duck virus enteritis, aspergillus, and other diseases.

And it's not just ducks we should be treating with respect. As cute and cuddly as some animals may seem, it is best to leave them in their natural habits. When it comes to feeding other wildlife such as squirrels, rabbits, or deer, it's important to remember that the majority of human foods are meant for humans only. Even just a small amount of the wrong substance can make an animal ill. Squirrels can eat a variety of seeds, nuts, carrots, and apples. 

Check reputable animal guides for feeding suggestions or let them graze themselves. 

When we're respectful of nature, everyone will benefit from it.

(H/T: BuzzFeed)

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