But the bears, being the biggest animal in the forest, didn't feel like being sneaky or following hikers patiently to find tasty human food. Instead, they helped themselves to all the treats left in people's campsites right there in the bears own woods. Of course, the campers were very afraid of the huge bears that came to their tents and were worried that the bears would hurt one of them, so the Park Rangers were called in to remove the bears from the forest. The bears were caught and sent very far away from their homes, some even to zoos and other countries where they never got to see their home forest again.
The animals that had tasted the bread crumbs had other problems, too. Sometimes they would eat something that smelled and tasted good, but made the poor animal very, very sick. This was bad, but not bad enough for the not sick animals to stop eating the people food. Eventually, they loved the human food so much, and for a while had such an easier time getting it, that they forgot how to hunt and gather their own regular forest foods. Then a time came that the people stopped coming into that part of the forest, or stopped putting their trash where the animals could find it, and all the animals that had come to rely on the new human food suddenly didn't have it anymore. And they didn't have their own animal food anymore becuase they'd forgotten how to find it. Many of the animals either died or left the forest in search of new sources of easy food.
So now, when you walk the path that Hansel and Gretel walked through the woods, you may not see any animals at all. The forest is silent and sad for the animals that went away. And that is why we teach people now about Leave No Trace and respecting wildlife by not feeding them our own people food. Perhaps is Hansel and Gretel had learned Leave No Trace, we would still be able to enjoy the sound of the squirrels in the trees, the glimpse of a fox at dusk, or the tracks of a bear in the mud by a stream on that trail that the children took. So remember, when you are out exploring your neck of the woods, be sure you Leave No Trace, not even a crumb small enough for a mouse. Taking your food and trash with you will help keep the wildlife wild and a part of the nature we love.