California Wildlife Thirsty for Help
If a deer or skunk is approaching you, that’s not a good sign. Animals prefer staying away from humans for good reason – we often kill them. If they begin to lose their fear, it puts them, and us, in danger. But California creatures are losing their fear of humans due to drought.
“The drought is definitely having an effect,” said Jim Sullivan, a biologist and internationally certified animal tracker who teaches courses at Santa Rosa Junior College.
Water sources are scarcer in the wild, just as they are in the cities that have begun to impose strict water restrictions. Even areas where water used to be plentiful for animals, like golf courses and backyards, have less water available.
This means the wild things have little choice but to seek out whatever water they can find. Dog parks, horse stables, pools, and birdbaths are all good sources. In the process, wild animals have become much bolder about approaching people.
At Sonoma County Animal Services, animal control officer Shirley Zindler noted they have received calls to get help with removing deer from swimming pools.
“Just the other day, I rescued a skunk from a pool,” she added. “They are getting desperate.”
Last year was dry but things have gotten much worse in the summer of 2015, noted Doris Duncan, executive director of Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue.