Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Leave Old Pumpkins Out For Wildlife To Consume
We are right in the middle of the pumpkin season, prompting a warning from Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Pumpkins are everywhere this time of year. Many families enjoy the tradition of carving up Jack-O-Lanterns with the kids, while others get into the holiday season by decorating their homes and yards with pumpkins, gourds, pine cones, and wreaths. But, when it's all said and done, there is a right way and a wrong way to dispose of those pumpkins.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife has issued a reminder to residents about how not to dispose of their old pumpkins - especially those that are living in rural areas and country neighborhoods. Don't leave your pumpkins out for wildlife to consume.
Leaving Pumpkins Out For Wildlife Seems Harmless
There could be some unintended consequences when you leave pumpkins out for wildlife. You might be thinking about deer - but those pumpkins can attract predators like mountain lions and even bears to residential areas. That can lead to unnecessary conflicts between humans and wildlife.
Of course, raccoons love to scavenge and potentially could be carrying distemper or other diseases. The last thing you want is to have these critters hanging around your house - especially if you have pets.
Feeding Wildlife Is Never A Good Idea
For one thing, intentionally feeding wildlife in Colorado is illegal. Besides that, however, it's just a bad idea. CPW Wildlife Pathologist Karen Fox says for their own well-being, wildlife should be sustained by resources that occur naturally in their habitat. She says, "Our policy is definitely to not provide supplemental food to big game in any form." Feeding wildlife is bad for the animals which may become dependent on human-provided nutrition.
Properly Disposing of Pumpkins
Some communities may have mass pumpkin disposal programs. Otherwise, it's best to simply put old pumpkins into your garbage and let them decompose at the landfill. Properly disposing of pumpkins will help minimize potential problems for wildlife and their conflict with humans.