Wildlife agents give tips on handling displaced wild animals

Wildlife agents give tips on handling displaced wild animals

BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - Despite the fact that water levels are now beginning to drop in most places around the ArkLaTex, wild creatures in and out of the water are creating their own set of challenges and potential dangers.

The rising Red has left behind destruction and pushed creatures to higher ground. The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Department has been receiving several calls about displaced animals.

"The high water has broadened their horizons if you will. If you've got some land that is now flooded, you're going to see some alligators or snakes," said wildlife agent Sergeant Troy Parker with Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Law Enforcement Division.

Earlier this month, Louisiana State Police Sergeant George Beck found an alligator underneath his Tahoe.

Instead of panicking, he says he held his composure.

"He started hissing at us, started opening his mouth and charged at a couple of us. We just gave him room," said Sgt. Beck.

That's exactly what Sgt. Parker says you should do.

"They are going to roam as wild animals do. If you encounter them leave them alone and they'll go on about their way," said Parker.

Parker says there is an old adage that comes into play. "They're more afraid of you than you are of it."

Before you think about keeping or harming the animals, Parker says, "It's illegal to possess the alligators. The snakes, if you want to take a stick knock it in the head and run it off, that may be the necessary thing. But you're not going to do that to an alligator, you're not going to do that to a raccoon. It's against the law."

As the river continues to recede, many of the animals will return to their natural habitats.

In the meantime, wildlife agents say it's best to err on the side of caution when comes to coming in contact with wild animals.

If you need to call the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Department about a wild creatures dial 318-371-3049.

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