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Drought in West Texas Drives More Wild Animals Into Abilene

Dead Coyote on Buffalo Gap Road
Photo by: Rudy Fernandez

As I drive around town I’ve noticed more wild animals either dead on city streets, or just wandering around town. On my commute to and from work, I counted 7 dead ‘wild animals’ on the roads. There was three coyotes, one porcupine, one deer, one raccoon and a deer. I called Abilene Animal Control to find out, ‘why are we seeing so many wild animals in Abilene?’

Joe Helms of the Abilene Animal Control Shelter said, “we are seeing an increase in wild animals in town because of the drought. When water is scarce due to lack of rain, the rabbits come into town to dine on the lush green vegetation of our well manicured lawns. Coyotes come because they too need water, and they love to eat rabbits. The rabbits aren’t the only ones that are looking for green vegetation, so are the skunks, porcupines, possums, deer and fox.

Dead Porcupine on Antilly Road
Photo by: Rudy Fernandez

Safety Tips to Help You Avoid Wild Animal Encounters

  • If you see a skunk, possum or other nocturnal animal out during the day call for help, they could be rabid
  • Do not leave your cat or dog food outside, wild animals are always looking for food
  • Make sure your pets are vaccinated
  • Never feed wild animals that are in your area
  • Do not attempt to make a wild animal a pet. First off its dangerous and most importantly it’s against the law.
  • Do not try to shoot, poison or capture the wild animals in your neighborhood
  • Do not try to handle a wild animal

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