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A social advertisement contest "Do not feed sea lions" was launched in Kamchatka

01 september 2020
Participants must create banners, video and audio footage encouraging people to stop feeding wild marine mammals. The main idea of the contest is to minimize the anthropogenic impact on wild animals. WWF-Russia is one of the organizers of the contest along with Kronotsky Preserve, Nature Protected Areas Association, and the Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment of Kamchatka.

Sea lions come to haul-outs in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in October and stay here until April. Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky is one of four cities in the world where sea lions can be seen within the city boundaries. Several dozens of sea lions usually come to Mokhovaya Bay. The place is open for visitors and easily accessible. Several years ago, city officials put signs encouraging people to stop feeding and disturbing sea lions. However, the visitors of the haul-out more often than not ignore the simple rules.

Some visitors do believe that they are doing a right deed by feeding the animals. But these actions show a complete misunderstanding. The thing is that wild animals lose their hunting skills. They become dependable on humans which can be harmful for people as well. There are several known cases in the world when sea lions bit people’s clothes and dragged them into water demanding food.

“It is very important to attract people’s attention to the problem and explain why the ban on feeding wild animals is so vital, that it is not a whim of environmentalists but a logical and reasonable demand. This request is driven by a desire to protect both humans and sea lions. We ask tourists and locals: “Please, do not feed sea lions”,” said Sergey Rafanov, director of WWF-Russia’s Kamchatka Office.

The results of the contest will be announced at “The Sea of Life” festival on September 26.