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What’s The Big Deal? If you grew up in the suburbs or somewhere rural then seeing a possum eating out of your cat’s food dish or a raccoon sniffing around your trash probably wasn’t that uncommon. But just because animals are cute doesn’t mean that they aren’t dangerous, they could be a carrier for rabies, parasites, influenza, salmonella or other pathogens that can endanger people and pets.
If critters such as coyotes, deer or foxes do appear in the yard, the best option for a peaceful encounter is to give them space. When you move in too close, animals can feel threatened and may attack to defend themselves.
If an animal won’t wander away on its own then you can consider contacting local wildlife experts or authorities.
Homeowners who don’t want any furry or scaly visitors should be mindful not to provide food or shelter. Secure outdoor trash can lids, scoop up spilled seed at birdfeeders and remove outdoor pet food bowls that may attract these creatures.
Be Extra Wary of Large Predators: If you live somewhere with bears, coyotes, mountain lions etc., then you should know what to do beforehand if you spot these animals to take extra precautions. Here are some practical tips if you encounter large cats or bears in your yard or when you’re out in nature. However, one thing to note is that trapping or poisoning these animals is incredibly inhumane, ineffective and unnecessary–if you hear of someone proposing this in your community please be a voice for animals.
What if you want to help? The best thing people can do to help wildlife in their backyards is to not disrupt them or feed them. But you can always plant a pollinator garden to help create wildlife habitat without making animals dependent on you for food. Other than than, just know that coexistence is the only solution–human encroachment means that we will likely continue to encounter wild animals near our homes and we’re going to have to learn to live with it.
Why This Matters: We humans often want a solution that usually doesn’t force us to alter our behavior and comes at the detriment of animals. We must learn to coexist with wildlife in our backyards–as the International Fund for Animal Welfare often reminds us–which will mean modifying our behavior to protect ourselves, our pets and wild animals alike. And please, we beg you, don’t try to take selfies with wild animals!
Do you have a good eye? Are you surprisingly good at Where’s Waldo and like Walruses? If so, we have great opportunity for you! The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is seeking volunteers to help count Atlantic walruses…from space. Sea ice is retreating fast as global temperatures rise, forcing walruses to crowd on smaller floes […]
By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer At a UN conference in Kunming, China, President Xi Jinping set aside $230 million to form a fund that preserves biodiversity in developing countries. This announcement was made at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity talks (COP15) which are dedicated to preserving delicate ecosystems and preventing plants and animals […]
The people have spoken! The portly patriarch of paunch persevered to pulverize the Baron of Beardonkadonk in the final match of #FatBearWeek 2021. 480 Otis can now boast a bevy of bests w/ this fourth 1st place finish. As we celebrate, like a true champ 480 is still chowing down. pic.twitter.com/rLvm7pvGJW — Katmai National Park […]
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