07/05/2012 09:07 EDT | Updated 09/04/2012 05:12 EDT

Fox feeders warned by P.E.I. National Park

People who like to feed the foxes in P.E.I. National Park are being warned they face heavy fines if they are caught.

Fines for feeding wildlife in a national park start at $250, and officials say those fines are in place for good reason.

"It may lead to them not being able to feed for themselves, especially for the young kits," said Barb MacDonald of Parks Canada.

"If they learn to feed from people they don't learn to hunt and fend for themselves. At the end of the visitor season when people go away they are still reliant on human food."

P.E.I. National Park is also very small, with a highway running through the middle of it, and that also can lead to problems. The foxes learn to feed by the roadside, and that puts them at risk of being hit by car.

MacDonald said people should also be aware that as attractive as they are, foxes are wild animals that can spread disease and give a nasty bite.

Bridge jumpers beware

Parks Canada staff are also reminding people that jumping off the bridge at Covehead is prohibited.

Covehead is an active fishing harbour and there have been a number of near collisions between bridge jumpers and boats traveling under the bridge. They also note tidal fluctuations mean there are significant changes in water depth and currents.

Parks staff and RCMP are working together to enforce the ban on jumping from the bridge. The minimum fine for those caught is $120.

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