Feeding wildlife could now cost you $500 in Colorado Springs

Posted at 11:18 AM, Nov 28, 2018

COLORADO SPRINGS – The Colorado Springs City Council has passed two ordinances prohibiting people from feeding wildlife within Colorado Springs city limits.

One of the ordinances allows code enforcement officers to enforce state law that bans feeding animals and the second one outlines warnings and fines.

Colorado Springs citizens could now face a fine of up to $500  if they are cited for feeding wildlife after city council passed the ordinance Tuesday night. The accompanying ordinance also excludes the offense from jury trials.

If there is one witness to feeding wildlife, a written warning will be issued. If an offender does it again, that’s when a fine can be issued.

Buck mule deer
A buck mule deer makes his way through the KOAA parking lot.

Feeding wildlife is already against state law, and the approval of the ordinance is meant to reinforce that law.

As urban deer populations in the city continue to grow, there are safety concerns. This growth not only brings in predators and increases the chances of animal/vehicle collisions, but it also increases the risk for the spread of disease.

The animals also become more comfortable around humans and feeding them might cause them to become more aggressive.

Leaving out hay, grain, minerals, salt or other foods for wild animals to eat is prohibited under the ordinance. The law would not apply to bird feeders, landscape elements, or persons running an animal shelter, education center or rescue.

The ordinance defines wildlife as “any undomesticated animal species including but not limited to bear, skunks, raccoon, wolf, coyote, fox, deer, elk, moose, or antelope. Wildlife does not include animals raised as livestock, domesticated pets, or birds.”