No Feeding Animals

A graphic depicting a coyote dreaming of a kangaroo rat before being fed by people, followed by a coyote dreaming of a car.
Animals learn to identify cars as food sources.

NPS graphic/Hoerner

Problems in Death Valley with People Feeding Wildlife


Animals within the park should never be fed by people. Though it can be tempting to feed an animal to get a closer experience, or to "help it", these actions really hurt wildlife.

In Death Valley, we have a large problem with people feeding coyotes. The coyotes learn that easy food comes from cars, and they hang around the roads. They are also often seen stepping out in front of cars, forcing them to stop, then begging for food. This behavior is dangerous for both the coyotes and visitors. No matter how hungry or thirsty a coyote looks, these animals call this place home and have been able to survive on their own for a very long time. Though it may not look like there is any food or water around, desert animals know where to find it.

Animals not only change their behavior when fed by people, but the food can also make animals sick. You may love your snack of choice, but animals digestive tracks aren't used to eat the same food as humans.

Feeding animals can be dangerous for you! These are wild animals, and though they may appear "friendly", you never know how they may react to you. Keep yourself, and the animals, safe and stay at least 200 yards away from wildlife.
 
Outside of a pit toilet building, ravens gather around a scattered trash bag and trash, in a desert setting.
Ravens found an overflowing trash bin to pick through.

NPS/Eddington

How can you help stop wildlife being fed in the park?

  • Do NOT feed wildlife. This seems like a pretty easy thing to stop, but many people are not aware of how this harms the animals and sometimes, are trying to "help".
  • Sometimes wildlife is fed inadvertently - check out the picture of the ravens that pulled the full trash bag out of the restroom. The waste bins often get full, especially on busy weekends, and unfortunately visitors still try to cram things on top. This leads to overflowing bins and trash on the ground, which is easy pickings for ravens and other animals. You can help out when visiting by reducing the trash/recycling that you leave in the park. For the stuff that does stay, please ensure that it is correctly disposed of.
  • Tell a friend! The more people that know about how they can help Death Valley wildlife, and the wildlife they encounter other places, the more animals that can be saved!

Last updated: August 11, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 579
Death Valley, CA 92328

Phone:

(760) 786-3200

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