Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Dallas area news bureau visited by bobcat

By DAN RONAN / WFAA-TV
04:49 PM CST on Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Last week in our Channel 8 Frisco Bureau, which is inside the Rough Riders ballpark, we had a visitor.

A bobcat, that wandered around the seats and then on the field, before finally engaging us in a 10-minute stare down.

And as there's more development, it's likely you'll see more wild animals that once were almost exclusively in the woods.

The bobcat walked out of the Frisco ballpark and sat in a nearby field for several minutes.

Then, it walked along a street near the tollway, eventually disappearing.

"There's always been laughingly what we used to call "out in the country." There's no longer, not much "out in the country,"" said Jim Dunlap, Plano wildlife expert.

In Collin and Denton Counties, hundreds of new subdivisions have been built in the last 10 years.

We're living in what was the animals' neighborhood.

You may remember an alligator found last fall in a small Plano creek, 15 feet from a house.

Last summer in a Frisco neighborhood pond, wildlife crew, in one night, removed 11 large snakes.

"They're generally gonna use the travels of creeks and we have alot of creeks. That's going to be their mode of transportation," said James Bias of the SPCA of Texas.

It's also not uncommon to see coyotes wandering around Collin County always looking for food.

A deer was captured in Dallas County recently.

Like the alligator, it will be released back into the wild this spring. "They're becoming more tolerant. Because its just familiarity, they see so many people," said Dunlap.

But familiarity doesn't mean we should think these are domestic animals.

"They may look a bit like an overgrown house cat or a small dog but the reality is, these are wild animals," said Bias.

"They don't want to be touched by you. And if you go up and approach them, you can expect to be injured."

Another problem that drives wildlife experts crazy: people buying wild animals as domestic pets.

In most cases, this fails and often the animal is dumped in the woods, where it either dies or is rescued by animal control.

http://www.wfaa.com/sharedcontent/dws/wfaa/latestnews/ stories/wfaa070123_lj_wildanimals.117e298d.html

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