Today, the Mrs. called me rather excited because as she was exiting I-20 in Fort Worth, Texas, she almost hit a deer that was crossing the highway. I have seen roadkilled deer several time near that same location, so I was not really surprised at her story.
Arlington, Texas made the local news a few years back with a population of feral hogs taking up residence.
Residents of Plano, Texas have begun reporting encounters with bobcats.
One of my co-workers who lives in Plano caught security cam pictures of a good sized bobcat on his patio one night. Not the kind of thing that makes a parent of young children sleep well.
Many cities have a population of coyotes.
I have seen them sitting beside the street in Grand Prairie, Texas watching the cars go by.
All of these encounters occurred well inside the city limits. I am waiting for the first report of a cougar sighting because its coming.
The population of larger forms of wildlife taking up residence in major cities is on the rise as urban sprawl and reduced natural habitat combines with easy availability of food and water to attract wild critters to suburban backyards.
This sad state of affairs leads to potentially deadly enounters between predators and the family pet, or the unthinkable, a toddler. Larger animals pose a real danger in collisions with vehicles. Feral pigs are both destructive and aggressive.
If you should encounter wildlife in your neighborhood, do not approach the animal. The critter may not be afraid of humans, but that does NOT mean the animal is tame. Many people are injured by deer, elk, and especially moose during mating season. The cause of such encounters is usually someone who wants a photo of Nature’s beauty. If you want a photo, take one at a respectful distance, and make sure you are not standing between the animal and the only path of escape when the flash goes off.
Keep food, garbage, and pet food indoors or in a secure container. (Metal and plastic garbage cans are NOT secure containers.)
Keep a close eye on small pet and children when outdoors.
Call Animal Control or the State Parks & Wildlife Department for assistance if wild animals become a nuisance.