Monday, December 18, 2006

Bobcats move into Dallas suburb as winter sets in

As land throughout Frisco continues to be developed and temperatures drop during winter months, wild animals – including bob cats and coyotes -- may seek shelter and food in our neighborhoods.

"More and more wild animals are moving into the cities," said biologist Robert Stalbaum, Wildlife Damage Management, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). "They don’t have to hunt like they used to."

City of Frisco Animal Control officers, along with the US Department of Agriculture, offer residents the following tips to help keep their families and pets safe.

• Physically restrain all pets and bring them into the house overnight, if possible.

• Do not leave pet food out overnight. Keep food outside for only a half an hour during the day, if possible.

• Keep landscaping trimmed back around the house and pool. This helps prevent wild animals from finding shelter at your home.

• Remove any fallen fruit from trees, daily.

• Keep trash in a secure container. This alleviates ‘easy meal’ access. Place container outside on the trash picks up day.

• Take a stick with you when walking pets. This can be used to harass a wild animal, if you’re confronted during your walk.

• Keep eye contact and slowly ‘back way’ from larger, wild animals. Don’t turn your back and run, as this can trigger an animal to attack.

• Make a disturbance when confronted with wildlife so the animals know they’re in your territory. Waving a stick or banging pots and pans are good means for creating a disturbance.

• Immediately report sightings of wildlife, which appear to be staggering.

Normally, wild animals run away at the sight of humans. However, if an animal is staggering and continues to move towards you, it’s possible the animal may be rabid.

For more information, contact the City of Frisco Animal Control at 972-292-5303. The local division of the Texas Wildlife Damage Management Service can be reached by calling 214-904-3054 or check out this site. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department also provides information here. watch-out-dang-bobcats-and-coyotes/

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