I know, it’s tempting. You see a really cute animal up close and instantly want to pet it or feed it. But unless you’re at a petting zoo, it’s probably best not to do either. In Hawaii, horses, cows and sheep roam freely on the acres and acres of farmlands. What many don’t notice are the posted signs warning passerbys not to feed the animals.

Sounds cruel, but actually, these animals are already on strict diets, as is. It may seem like you’re doing them a favor, but some have medical conditions that prevent them from eating certain foods, while others might end up choking on your treats.

Feeding animals, especially horses, can be dangerous to you as well. Many aren’t used to someone putting food in their face because they most likely eat out of a bucket or feeder. So when you reach your arm over the fence, you could be risking your safety. They could bite, kick or freak out.

It’s totally fine to take a picture of them or with them, but make sure to respect their space. There are several farms on Oahu’s North Shore, where horses cruise right up to the fence line and the road’s edge. They’re gorgeous horses, and lucky ones, too, with so much room to roam. Enjoy their beauty from afar, and let them do their thing.

Photo By: Ariel Navares

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