Friday, February 26, 2010

Suburban Survival Hazards - Don't Feed Wild Animals


With a habitat that is quickly disappearing due to the increase of suburban expansion, many wild animals are quickly losing their fear of humans causing new threats to your survival. These threats can be real for you, your children and your pets.

Many suburban areas are being overrun by everything from coyotes and alligators to skunks, possums and raccoons. Many suburban areas are also being plagued by large deer populations that are destroying yards and gardens while creating traffic hazards as well. More remote suburban areas have additional hazards from even larger predators that may include wolves, bears and mountain lions depending upon the area.

Striped Skunk

Just remember that many of these animals are predators by instinct and will view you, small children and your pets as little more than their next meal. Coyotes in recent years have become especially bad about this in many areas as they have started hunting for food and prey in suburban areas. They are quite often infected with rabies creating an additional hazard.

You can read about the numerous coyote attacks on people and children here:

Coyote Attacks

Drawn by food scraps in open dumpsters, uncovered trash bins and feed dishes for pets left out with easy access, these wild predators are taking advantage of easy meals provided unknowingly by many suburban homesteaders. In the absence of an easy meal, they are also viewing small pets and even small children as a new food source.

While smaller animals such as skunks and raccoons can be quite attractive to young children, they can also carry rabies and other diseases that can be a very real hazard to you and your pets. The treatment for rabies can be a painful experience and a hard lesson for anyone, including a young child, to learn.

One of the best things you can do is to notify animal control officers or a good pest control service in your area of any sightings. They normally monitor activities of this nature and are usually more aware of increasing populations of wild animals in suburban areas and the proper way to rid yourself of this type of hazard. You can also make sure not to leave pet foods out with easy access for wild animals, keep dumpsters closed and trash bins covered.

Got wild suburban predators? Don't become their next meal!

Staying above the water line!



Bitmap said...

I'm amazed that some parents don't teach their children not to try and pet or touch wild animals and don't tease them with food.

I guess they figure when the critter takes a finger off the kid will learn.

I guess I go overboard a little but I teach my kids that all animals (wild and domestic) and all people are potentially dangerous.

That sweet old cow may not mean you any harm but if she decides to scratch her side on a fence and you are caught between the two, well, you know what is going to happen. Any animal, even the family pet, can get nasty when they have young of their own.

Have-a-heart type traps are great for keeping the number of local critters down to a reasonable number.

chinasyndrome said...

My ex uncle has a small farm,his wife was hanging clothes early one morning,coyote attacked her pet dog she was only a few feet away.

Recently went to a lg high school for a program, as we walked out we seen a little a little dog eating a dead bird in the middle of a very busy parking lot.That dog was a red fox,I made girls swing out around him. As we left I seen a couple scooting within 6 feet of him to snap pics.

riverwalker said...

To: Bitmap

Excellent point my friend!

Even domesticated animals can be a real danger...such as one of my friends who was recently kicked by a horse he was shoeing. It was a painful experience and one he doesn't want to repeat anytime soon.

A friend of mine was on a recent elk hunting trip in New Mexico and had a confrontation with a mountain lion. Fortunately, the mountain lion lost.

Teaching the young ones to have a little respect for both wild and domestic animals is a must.

Thanks Bitmap!


riverwalker said...

To: chinasyndrome

I regularly see and hear large packs of coyotes in my area that are only a mile or two from heavily populated suburban areas. You need to be careful at all times. As they lose their hunting grounds, they will be looking for new places (and things) to hunt!



idahobob said...

And where I live.....we have an infestation of wolves.

All thanks to the FedGov.


Ken said...

...knowledge is power/ignorance took me two days to finally convince a friend she was feeding a pair of coyotes...and not "a stray dog or two" appears her dog 'ran away'(?)and "i have all this kibble to spare" thinks her dog was "kibble" for the coyotes first...

tweell said...

Coyotes are smart critters. There was a pair of coyotes that moved into our neighborhood a while back. I lost a cat, our neighbor saw one of them chase the cat out from under my car while the other one waited on the other side. Lots of cats were never seen again. Another neighbor found them tag-teaming his dog to steal the dog's food - while one coyote would lead the dog off, the other one would eat, then they'd switch. That was their downfall, he had a quiet .22 and backed up to the railroad tracks instead of another house.

riverwalker said...

To: Twell

No doubt about them being smart. Any animal that has managed to survive in the wild for any length of time won't have a problem taking advantage of a suburban area. Great atory!



riverwalker said...

To: idahobob

we see a few wolves occasionally in my area but no serious numbers. That may change in the future...



riverwalker said...

To; Ken

You can be making a big mistake if you don't recognize those "stray dogs" for what they really are...don't want to waste good dog food.

Thanks Ken.


jmp4z7 said...

I thought you might be interested in this website which is done by a lady with a pet coyote

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