Alabama State Parks is reminding visitors that feeding deer within the parks is illegal. Due to large populations of deer in several Alabama State Parks and a history of deer-vehicle collisions within those parks, a regulation prohibiting the feeding of deer in the parks went into effect in March of 2010. Under the regulation the first offense will result in a warning; the second will result in a fine.
Traffic accidents, loss of property and loss of animals caused by park visitors feeding deer on the right-of-way and within the road proper is still an issue at some parks; especially in and around campgrounds where deer are prominent and conditioned to people and vehicles. The problem becomes more intensified when deer travel back and forth across roadways to feed.
“We are asking visitors to our parks to help keep the wildlife wild,” said Mark Easterwood, Alabama State Parks Director. “Not feeding the wildlife in the parks helps to avoid potential car accidents. It also helps keep our wildlife alive so visitors can enjoy viewing the animals at a safe distance.”
State Farm Insurance estimates there were 2.4 million car-deer collisions nationwide between July1, 2007, and June 30, 2009. That is 18.3 percent more than five years earlier. The Alabama State Parks Division encourages observation from a safe distance and without artificial feeding.
As urban environments expand it is important to understand how wildlife move through that environment and how to avoid unnecessary accidents. Information about deer in the parks and various educational wildlife programs are available within several parks. Visit the individual park offices for specific details.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com .