Expect More Contact With Wildlife, CA DFG Says

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Expect More Contact With Wildlife, CA DFG SaysThe Department of Fish and Game (DFG) reminds the public to use caution should they encounter wild animals this spring. Wildlife tends to venture into populated and suburban areas during this time of year. Bears, mountain lions and coyotes in particular may be drawn to human habitation in search of an easily attainable food source.

“Seeing a wild animal in a populated area is not necessarily cause for alarm,” said DFG Environmental Program Manager Doug Updike. “There are some common-sense precautions that people should be aware of should they come across wildlife, but it’s important to realize that animals in or around subdivisions are very unlikely to attack and are likely to flee.”

During the spring months bears may roam backyards or irrigated landscapes in search of grasses, forbs, berries, acorns and other plant life. Herbivores such as deer and rabbits will do the same, followed by their predators, mountain lions and coyotes.

Humans are encouraged to take measures to minimize interaction with wild animals in search of food to decrease the chance of confrontation. DFG’s Keep Me Wild campaign offers important precautionary information for outdoor enthusiasts or anyone who lives in or near wildlands. Tips to discourage wildlife include:

Do not feed wild animals.

Pick up fallen tree fruit as soon as possible.

Do not leave pets outside unattended.

Keep pet food inside.

Humans are also advised to stand tall and back away slowly if confronted by any large wild animal. In an emergency situation, call 911. For more advice specific to each species, please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/keepmewild.