Pandemic Tips #6 – Watch for wild animals

Pandemic tips - Encroaching Wildlife

Last Updated on 1 year by Christopher G Mendla

Pandemic tips Watch for wild animals. With people off the streets in many areas, wild animals are venturing into the suburbs and even cities. 

Predators vs prey

Wildlife is divided into predators and prey (with some crossovers). In general wildlife that is usually prey are less dangerous. Predators such as mountain lions and coyotes are a different story.

However, keep in mind that animals such as moose, which are not predators, can still be extremely dangerous.

Anyone who has annoyed a goose knows that those birds can be extremely aggressive.

Knowing your local wildlife.

I’m in Southeastern PA. Unlike folks in Florida, I have no worries about alligators. However, over the last 20 years, I have had a bear in my woods twice and have also run into a coyote.

Well before the lockdowns, I was at my girlfriends condo one night just after dusk and what I initially thought to be a fox went by on the street. I have a semi resident fox at my place and they are generally shy.

When I was leaving, I saw it about 25 yards away. Instead of walking off, it started to come toward me. I was between my girlfriend’s door and my truck. Running away will cause a coyote to think you are prey. They can bring down a deer. I stood my ground and stared it down. It left. Fortunately Pennsylvania allows concealed carry so that was an option if it did get aggressive

Coyotes are wary of humans and your presence is usually enough to drive off a coyote. Maintain eye contact. Do not turn your back on the coyote and do not run. Running away can trigger a coyote’s prey drive and may cause him or her to chase you.

Even animals such as goats can be dangerous. Years ago we were visiting the Hancock Shaker Village. Some yuppie let his two very young children climb over the fence into a field where rams were grazing. I said something and he replied (In a beta male voice)  “My children can go where ever they want”.  He had no clue that Rams can get very aggressive and will head butt anything they don’t like. I walked away. As far as I know the kids were OK despite the idiocy of their father. 

Pandemic tips - Encroaching Wildlife

Unfortunately the only connection people have with animals such as goats is a zoo or petting zoo. Here is a video of an annoyed goat.

Feral dogs

We haven’t reached the point yet of people abandoning their pets. Large numbers of abandoned dogs can result in them forming into packs.

Update – A fox in suburbia

Two days after this, I was walking with my girlfriend in Southampton, PA. It was about 6 PM. I got a funny feeling and turned around. This fox had crossed the road and was walking alongside a barn. The picture makes the area look a lot more rural than it is. This is one of the original farms in the area with a barn. Most of the houses are on a quarter acre at most. Seeing a fox during the day isn’t that unusual. But it does indicate that the animals are encroaching as people stay in their homes.

Summary – Be aware of your surroundings at all times

The situation will become more pronounced the longer that we are in our homes. Some things you can do are:

  • Keep an eye in your local media and social media for any reports of wild animals venturing into areas where they usually would not venture.
  • When you are exiting your house or vehicle, check for any animals that might be in the area
  • Know how to deal with the animals you would be most likely to encounter.
  • Plan your outside activities for daylight hours. You don’t want to take the trash out and run into a bear and her cubs.
  • Do NOT leave children or elderly outside unattended. The same applies to animals such as dogs. Well, maybe if you have a Rottie or Doberman that is a different story.
  • If your state allows CCW consider that you might have to engage a fast moving, very small target.

And for a lighter? side

Here is Jethro Tull’s Bungle in the Jungle.

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