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'No feeding, no touching' wild animals safety rule

By ZHANG ZHOUXIANG | China Daily | Updated: 2023-12-05 08:13

An image captured along the Nujiang River Valley of Dengchen county in the Tibet autonomous region shows a wolf. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Drivers on a road near the Hoh Xil nature reserve in Northwest China's Qinghai province have encountered a rare sight — a wolf waiting to be fed.

Thanks to the administration's efforts to restore the environment, wild animals are appearing in the fields, rivers and cities more frequently. Just last Monday, a video went viral on social networking sites showing a wild boar swimming across the Yangtze River in Nanjing city. Two days later, a wild boar reportedly attacked a security guard and on Saturday a boar drowned and died while being chased away. It is not clear if the animals were the same one. In the past two years, 63.4 percent of feeds on infrared cameras installed inside Nanjing Agricultural University have shown wild boars.

Environment repair and simultaneous urbanization are leading to increased human-wild animal interactions, giving rise to the need to spell out what to do on such occasions. Many may not know, for example, that the marmot they meet in the wild might be a carrier of the plague, while the wolves that look cute by the roadside might attack people if they feel endangered. Touching or feeding wild animals exposes humans to the danger of injury or infection, but such caution takes a back seat in this age of booming social media when people are more focused on having something interesting to post online.

To minimize the risks of an epidemic spreading or normal behavior of wild animals being upset, it is important to enforce the principle of "no feeding, no touching" when it comes to human-wild life interactions. Wild animals are friends but only from a distance. Those wanting to forge bonds should instead look for pets.

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