MALIBU (CBSLA) – National Park Service officials are asking the well-meaning public to stop feeding wildlife in the Woolsey Fire burn area because it can cause them serious harm.

The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Wednesday posted photos showing carrots, apples, corn and hay which had been left out for the animals in recent days.

capture58 Park Rangers: Stop Feeding Wildlife In Woolsey Fire Burn Area

Food left out for wildlife in the Santa Monica Mountains. November 2018. (NPS)

Rangers explained that providing the animals food they are not accustomed to eating can make them sick, while putting out water buckets can also easily spread diseases between them.

“Feeding them non-natural food (apples, hay, carrots, corn, etc) has consequences and it can end up hurting the very animals you are intending to help,” the NPS wrote on its Facebook page. “It can habituate them and increase the spread of diseases, some of which may be transmitted to pets and humans.”

The Santa Monica Mountains was devastated by the Woolsey Fire, which broke out Nov. 8 on the eastern edge of Simi Valley. At least 83 percent of all NPS land in the Santa Monica Mountains was scorched by the blaze, according to CAL Fire officials.

“We understand the inclination to help out,” the NPS wrote. “After all, we care about the wildlife, too, and we understand they have suffered from the stress of the fires. There are, however, food and water sources out there for them. They have an incredible ability to survive and adapt. Wildlife are highly resourceful!”

The NPS also noted that feeding wildlife on NPS lands is against federal law and carries with it a punishment of up to six month in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000.

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