I wonder which part of “DO NOT FEED THE KEA” does she not understand? Sigh! Sadly while at the Fox Glacier we saw this woman happily feeding away the kea.
If you have travelled around New Zealand, you will frequently come across signs that say “DO NOT FEED THE KEA” and obviously this woman just did not or choose not to see them. The main reason for not feeding the kea is because if you start feeding kea; it will discourages them from looking for and learning about natural foods, and it can make them dependent on human scraps.
Steps to reduce kea conflict (Department of Conservation)
Department of Conservation has put together some information to help people decrease the issues of kea damaging human property:
- DO NOT leave food, food packaging, or food scraps anywhere that they can gain access to.
- DO NOT feed them any leftovers.
- If Kea are interfering with something they shouldn’t be, DO NOT make loud noises or throw anything in their direction as this just provides positive reinforcement
- DO NOT leave doors to vehicles/buildings open.
- Kea like to pull apart anything that is soft, so try your best to have anything that might tempt Kea in well stored and secure areas ie put your car in the garage each night.
So to all my dearest friends and readers if you ever come across signs that say “DO NOT …..”. There’s obviously good reasons for them to ask you not to. Take a photo, leave only footprints. Be conscious of the environment around you. Think about how much you can do to preserve this for the future. Respect these spaces and everything in them. Help to preserve them for yourself as well as others.
- Decline of kea threatens alpine plants (nzherald.co.nz)