Recently, the Mt. Lebanon Police and South Hills Cooperative Animal Control have experienced an increase in reported sightings and encounters with various wildlife within Mt. Lebanon and in other South Hills communities. These animals, coyotes, foxes, or bobcats are not new to this area. All of these creatures and many more have lived along side us for decades. Foxes are very prevalent in this area, but they don’t incite the reaction that coyotes and large cats do. Most of the time, it is the behavior of the humans that draws animals in or forces an encounter by wildlife that would rather be left alone. The following is information that you can use to help understand wildlife:
- Fear of humans is important for animal survival.
- Most animals frighten easily if you make loud noises.
- Stay with and supervise your pets when outside – you are required to have control of them by law.
- Keep your pets on a leash, in fenced areas, or covered kennels .
- Use yard lighting and motion detectors to discourage unwanted visitors.
- Don’t encourage wild animals to visit – KEEP GARBAGE SEALED, CLEAN UP FALLEN FRUIT, etc.
- Bird feeders draw more than birds, keep after them or don’t put them out. You are are drawing hunter animals by drawing their prey to you!
- Do not approach any wildlife pups or babies. Regardless of the species, any animal can be dangerous if it feels threatened, especially if it is defending its young.
- Do not approach animals that appear sick, injured, or even dead… especially those that can bite! Contact animal control or your local police IMMEDIATELY.
If you are forced into an encounter or are surprised by a wild animal…
DO NOT TURN YOUR BACK ON THEM OR ATTEMPT TO RUN AWAY
MAKE LOUD NOISES, MAKE YOURSELF LOOK BIG, THROW ROCKS, STICKS, ETC.
KEEP YOURSELF BETWEEN YOUR CHILDREN & AN ANIMAL
For additional information, please check with local authorities or the PA Game Commission.
For practice, can you identify these? (Hint: 4 Foxes, 1 Coyote, & 1 Bobcat)