Residential propety

Drought brings increased wildlife to residential neighborhoods

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

“Animals roam — they hunt for their food sources,” said Texas Parks and Wildlife Warden Lerrin Johnson. “Some of the food sources move around because they’re trying to find water.”

Johnson said local subdivisions have pools, or even food and water that have been set aside for pets.

“It’s a last resort, but it’s a source of water for them,” she said.

Last week, a bobcat was spotted on a trail camera set up in a backyard in the Kings Crossing neighborhood, located on the south side of Corpus Christi.

“(The Bobcats) are kind of elusive, they like to be left alone, they like to stay away,” Johnson said. “But, the water is attracting them right now.”

Bobcats are smaller predators, usually weighing around 20 pounds. Johnson said bobcats don’t generally pose a threat to anything other than small pets or domestic chickens. However, she warns that larger predators could pose a threat.

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

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

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

“If they’re in your yard and you need to scare them away, you can scream or make a loud noise – chase them off your property,” she said. “But, just remember they are wild animals. They’re not there to attack you, they’re just there to find food and water.