You might find feeding monkeys or other wild animals something really special and cute. But, you are not helping them; you’re actually hurting them.
Knowing this, we have installed very strict policies about not feeding wild animals at the Cayuga Collection Hotels and Lodges.
Why you should not feed the monkeys:
- It is against the law here in Costa Rica. Just like hunting. The problem is that the law is not always enforced.
- Monkeys are highly susceptible to diseases from humans. We can pass diseases to the animals when the food is touched by our hands (and they can pass diseases to us).
- Irregular feeding by humans can lead to aggressive animal behavior towards humans or other species.
- Contrary to popular belief, bananas are not a favorite staple of monkeys; especially the ones that have had exposure to pesticides can be very harmful to monkeys.
- Monkeys travel large distances every day looking for food. That keeps them “in shape”. If they just hang out where there is food provided by humans, they get slow and fat. Sound familiar? They are our closest relatives in the animal kingdom after all!
We have also decided to not use bird feeders to attract hummingbirds at our hotels and lodges, which is a common practice in many tourism areas. Recent research has shown that the sugar water can also be harmful to hummingbirds.
Sometimes, we have to do a lot of explaining with our guests and really “beg” them not to feed the wild animals. But, once we explain the why, they get it. It’s sometimes harder for adults, but children usually understand. One would think it would be the other way around.
Help us spread the word about this and make sure that we find a way to live side by side in harmony with the wild animals so that we can enjoy their company for many years to come.