Is it Okay to Feed Wild Animals?

We live in the beautiful state of Florida; abundant beaches, plants & wildlife. As we continue to develop open land, we sometimes interfere with wild animals native environments and invite their curiosity into ours.

If you encounter a wild animal in Florida, the simple answer is: 

Never Feed The Wildlife

Feeding wild animals can create a dependency on human feeding or reduce the animal’s fear of humans which may result in conflicts or the need for the animal to be removed or even killed in order to protect public safety.

In some cases, feeding wildlife is actually illegal in Florida.

As listed on, species with rules related to feeding include bears, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, pelicans, alligators, crocodiles, sandhill cranes, and wild monkeys.

How to secure your home against unwanted intruders:

What to Do if You Find Injured Animals in Florida

Do not pick up animals or remove them from their natural environment.

If you feel you must take immediate action to save an animal’s life, take extreme caution to protect yourself, wear appropriate protective gear & try to avoid touching the injured animals directly.  

If you find an injured or orphaned animal, you should report it to the closest Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Regional Office or an FWC-licensed wildlife rehabilitator in your area.

Below you will find a listing of Regional Offices and contact info.

Keep in Mind:

You may find wild baby animals outside during spring. This is not to raise alarm, as many baby animals are just entering the world and learning to fend for themselves. Wild baby animals might appear in need or hungry, but unless the animal is truly orphaned or injured, there is no need to intervene.

Some Ducklings are just Ugly, not injured!

Here are a few signs that a wild animal needs your help

If you encounter an animal with the warnings below, please contact your F.W.C. office to report the issues:

  • Injured animal presented by cat or dog
  • Evidence of bleeding or broken bones
  • Featherless or nearly featherless shivering birds on the ground