What makes an animal a “nuisance?” Most wildlife never comes close to people. In fact, many people enjoy seeing such animals and believe that having them nearby adds value to their land.
However, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division animals such as deer, coyotes, bears, raccoons, foxes and skunks often get labeled as a nuisance due to their sometimes intrusive and destructive habits in suburban settings.
“Wildlife can, and will, take advantage of ‘easy food’ opportunities. So, it is our job, as homeowners, to ensure that we are keeping these non-natural foods away from wildlife – for our safety and for the animals,” says John Bowers, chief of the game management section of Wildlife Resources Division.
Following are basic tips to help keep wildlife from becoming a nuisance:
- Don’t feed wildlife.
- Keep items, such as grills, pet food or bird feeders, off-limits. Clean and store grills when not in use, keep pet food indoors or feed pets indoors, and refill bird feeders infrequently and in small amounts.
- Make trash cans inaccessible. Keep lids securely fastened or store trash cans in a secured location until trash pick-up.
Options for handling nuisance wildlife (including a list of professional nuisance trappers), fact sheets, wildlife rehabilitator information, tips on managing land for wildlife, guides on rabies and much more can be found at www.georgiawildlife.com/nuisancewildlife.
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