East Texas drought increases risk of encroaching wildlife
LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - The East Texas summer heat and drought can push wildlife into populated areas looking for a water source, and put them in conflict with humans in populated areas.
These encounters come with risks that people should protect themselves against.
Birds, mammals and insects all have a basic need. Food and water. And in the intense heat, water is crucial.
“It’s causing the wildlife to move around maybe more than they would normally be moving around. Which increases the risk of people coming in contact with these animals,” says Chris Kemper, director of the Longview animal care and adoption center.
Part of that risk, is that some wild animals can be aggressive and some carry disease that could be passed on.
“High risk for rabies. Raccoons are notorious this time of year for carrying distemper,” Kemper says.
Some homeowners have birdbaths and tubs for watering pets outside.
A source that can draw in deer, and the predators that hunt them.
Precautions would be to eliminate sources of food, water and shelter.
Don’t leave small pets or their pet food outside. Clear away brush or trash areas animals could hide in. Don’t provide food or water for them, it’s an invitation to stick around.
“Worst thing for those animals is for people to get involved. It puts not only them at risk, it puts their pets at risk. The animals are best left in nature,” says Kemper.
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