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Louisianans warned not to approach, feed hurricane-displaced wildlife

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries warns people not to interact with or attempt...
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries warns people not to interact with or attempt to feed wildlife displaced by Hurricane Ida. (Source: Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries)
Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 10:11 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - People aren’t the only Louisianans displaced by Hurricane Ida. But the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries on Tuesday (Aug. 31) warned the public should not approach or try to feed wild animals seeking sustenance and higher ground.

“Wild animals not posing a threat to humans should be left alone and should not be fed,” the agency said in statement. “Feeding wild animals will encourage these animals to remain in the vicinity of a new food source, when they should be allowed to find natural habitat and food sources on their own.”

Among the species of concern for unexpected human encounters in post-storm residential or commercial areas are Louisiana black bears, deer, feral hogs and dangerous reptiles including alligators and snakes. One apparent post-Ida death in Slidell already has been attributed to an alligator attacking a 71-year-old man.

The state agency reminds people to avoid areas where wildlife displaced by flood waters has taken refuge, avoid interaction with such animals and reptiles, do not attempt to feed displaced wildlife and avoid roadways near flooded areas to reduce the likelihood of wildlife interactions.

The department also said anyone spotting stranded marine mammals can contact the Audubon Nature Institute’s Coastal Wildlife Network at (504) 235-3005. Stranded sea turtles can be reported to 1-844-SEA-TRTL (1-844-732-8785). Select option 4 to report a stranded sea turtle, followed by option 4 for Louisiana.

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