May 15—SOCIAL CIRCLE — Whether it is a landscape snacking animal or a critter coming too close for comfort, many people have had some sort of human-wildlife conflict issue. But why are wildlife, such as deer, coyotes, bears, raccoons, foxes and skunks, near your home in the first place? It is most commonly because of easy access to "food," according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife Resources Division.
"Wildlife can, and will, take advantage of 'easy food' opportunities. So, it is our job, as homeowners to ensure that we are keeping these non-natural foods away from wildlife — for our safety, the protection of our homes, and for wildlife," Kaitlin Goode, the Urban Wildlife Program Manager for the DNR's Wildlife Resources Division, said in a news release.
Here are some tips for dealing with encounters with wildlife:
—Don't feed any wild animals.
—Keep items such as grills and pet food off-limits. Clean and store grills when not in use, keep pet food indoors and feed pets indoors.
—Refill bird feeders infrequently and in small amounts.
—Make trash cans inaccessible. Keep lids securely fastened or store trash cans in a secured location until the morning of trash pick-up.
Options for resolving human-wildlife conflict, including a list of professional nuisance trappers, fact sheets, wildlife rehabilitator information, tips on managing land for wildlife, and much more can be found at https://georgiawildlife.com/living-with-wildlife.