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Drought brings increased wildlife into residential neighborhoods

Bobcat in Corpus.jpg
Posted at 5:47 PM, Jun 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-13 19:32:11-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Local Texas game wardens said Monday that the recent drought is forcing more wildlife into local neighborhoods.

“Animals are roaming — they’re chasing their food sources," said Texas Parks & Wildlife Game Warden Lerrin Johnson. "Some of the food sources are moving because they’re trying to find water.”

Johnson said local subdivisions have pools, or even food and water that's been left out for pets.

"That’s a last resort, but it is a water source for them,” she said.

Last week, a bobcat was spotted on a trail cam set up in a backyard in the Kings Crossing neighborhood, located on Corpus Christi’s South Side.

“(Bobcats) are kind of elusive, they like to keep to themselves, they like to keep to the brush,” Johnson said. “But, water is drawing them out right now.”

Bobcats are smaller predators, usually weighing in at about 20 pounds. Johnson said bobcats don’t typically pose a threat to anything other than small pets or domesticated chickens. However, she warns that bigger predators could pose a threat.

“Unfortunately, people’s cats and dogs — depending on the size of the wildlife that we’re encountering — could also be considered a food source for these animals,” she said.

In order to keep animals away from neighborhoods during the drought, Johnson suggests filling buckets of water and placing them in areas the animals can access them without having to travel to populated areas.

If there is an animal on your property, and it is not threatening a pet, Johnson recommends ignoring the animal or trying to scare it off.

“If they’re in your yard, and you need to scare them off, you can yell or make a loud noise — chase them out of your property,” she said. “But, just remember they’re wildlife being wildlife. They’re not there to attack you, they’re just out there to find some food and water.”