Tourist in Shenandoah Determined to Feed Wildlife, Despite All of the Signs
SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK, Va. — Citing her bond with nature as ethereal and solidifying, Fredericksburg resident Jessica Thalmier is determined to feed the wildlife in Shenandoah National Park by any means necessary, sources confirmed Tuesday.
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Thalmier, who arrived at the park earlier this morning with a large bag of apples and bananas, is completely set on feeding any animal that she may come in contact with during her stay. The National Park Service, however, has numerous warning signs posted throughout that instruct visitors not to feed the wildlife.
“I just really think I have this connection with nature,” Jessica stated in an interview after her morning sunrise yoga session. “The fauna and I are just really engaged, like a real bond within. It’s something special.”
According to witnesses, Jessica has been attempting to feed bits of apple to deer, rabbits, and at least one coyote. One park ranger, Timothy Drestock noticed her reaching her hand to a cautious deer and quickly informed her of the park’s policy towards feeding the wildlife.
“We don’t allow it because it can cause animals to become habituated towards humans and their food, which could be potentially dangerous,” Drestock explained. “It also enables dolts who think they are some kind of ‘animal whisperer,’ which is equally dangerous.”
Another Shenandoah patron, Kenny Charleston, of Tappahannock, denounced her actions. “The signs are in plain sight all over the place, how hard is it to follow?”
Even with the warnings, however, Jessica remains determined to feed any animals she comes across. “I bought all of this granola from a boutique shop, I know they’ll love it. Plus, it’s local and organic.”
Park ranger Drestock says that he and his team will continue to pursue Jessica throughout her wildlife-feeding spree, until she attempts to feed a black bear. “When that happens, we normally just step back and try to let the problem sort itself out.”
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