I always thought that it might be against the rules to feed animals in Golden Gate Park, but I never really knew for sure. These days, there’s a movement afoot to amend the San Francisco Park Code to prohibit feeding animals “wild by nature and not customarily domesticated.”
Here’s the rule as it stands now:
“SEC. 5.07. FEEDING ANIMALS PROHIBITED It shall be unlawful for any person to feed or offer to any animal in any park any substance which would be likely to be harmful to it. (Added by 603-81, App. 12/18/81)”
Does it hurt a duck to feed it bread? No se. Is it against the rules to feed a duck in Golden Gate Park under the existing rules? Even our Lawgivers seem to be uncertain as to how this would all work.
The operator of the Stow Lake Boat House has this sign up at the snack bar, not that the birders would approve.
Here’s a sign at San Francisco Botanical Garden (nee Strybing) inside of GGP. The people at Strybing, they say stuff like “we don’t feed the animals” but I don’t think they have any special rules just for them because their signs only cite existing section 5.07:
Irregardless, lots of people think its their right to feed San Francisco’s ducks, so I’m not sure that Park Rangers would relish handing out enough citations to get people to change their behavior.
It’s probably not a good thing for you to feed the ducks but I don’t think anybody will try to stop you if you put your mind to it. (Although if you’re around state or federal authorities, they might have a whole set of different rules for you to obey.)
Of course Park employees used to carry around cans of cat food to feed the red foxes of Strybing, but they’re no longer around.
And coyotes, some guy started bringing raw meet into GGP to feed coyotes a while back, but that caused issues so the state of California sent in a man to execute all the coyotes he could find, including this one.
Our supes will hash this issue out and let us know I’m sure.