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Children and Wildlife - Teaching Children to Respect Wildlife

Updated on July 7, 2013

Children and Wildlife

When people think about camping or bird watching with their children, the first thing that comes to mind is safety. In wilderness you and your child can run into wild animals. Our children grow up today surrounded by stuffed creatures, such as bears, owls, whales, foxes, beavers and others. There are many books for children that feature fictional animals. Many sport teams adopt the names of different animals. These animals are not real. Your kid should understand that his cute Teddy Bear in wilderness will behave like dangerous wild animal. Therefore, children should know what to do if they encounter such situation.

Before camping you should carefully educate your children about wildlife they may encounter. Children must know that going to wilderness is different from visiting Disneyland. They should understand that on wildlife territories we humans are just guests and therefore should behave accordingly.


Respect Them and Keep the Distance

Wild animals must remain in their natural habitat so kids need to know how to respect them and keep their distance. You should not bring them to your home as pets, even if they are cute. Besides that, it is not legal to keep wild animals as pets without having the proper license. In case you find a bird or some other animal that looks injured or abandoned, you need to contact the local park ranger or wildlife organization.

You can establish a wildlife habitat in your backyard by planting local flowers, bushes and trees. Bird feeders and birdbaths are good support for local birds. This will give the local wild animals place to eat, hide and nest, but even more importantly it will help you teaching your children to love and respect animals.


How is your child educated about wild life?

Do you camping or bird-watching with your child in a wilderness?

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Learn About Wildlife in Your Area

It is advisable that children learn first about the local wildlife. Some good places to start would be the local wildlife preserves, zoos, rescue centers and petting zoos as many of them offer programs for children. You could also give children books to read about animals and help to observe them in your backyard and other areas.
If you are going to visit areas where may be wild animals, it will not hurt to learn about the animals that you might encounter. This way, your children will know how to react prior to meeting a wild animal, instead of displaying sudden or rash behavior.

You can find centers which have public wildlife education programs. Centers like Forest Schools help local people learn how to deal with wildlife properly. Bring your children to these centers and encourage them to learn and understand wildlife.

Forest Schools - excellent way to educate kids about wild life!


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      Julia 4 years ago

      We live in Canada and like most Canadians we love camping with our children. There is rich wildlife here in Canada, so we take children's wildlife education very seriously.