Increase in wild animals in neighborhoods across the CSRA

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - A local wildlife trapper says an increase economic development is driving the population of wild animals like coyotes and foxes to neighborhoods.

"We develop all of these communities and destroy their habitat essentially, and they have nowhere to go," said William Hooker Jr., a professional wildlife trapper.

Hooker said that's why there's been an increase in coyotes, foxes, and other animals spotted in populated areas...he's caught 11 coyotes already this year.. The animals he catches are dealt with according to state laws.

"They're not doing it because they want to do any damage or harm to you or anyone in particular he's doing it because he wants to thrive," said Hooker.

He said things like bird feeders or feeding stray cats can attract animals scavenging for their next meal.

"Predators they don't necessarily to humans. It's when they start looking at humans as a resource whether it's food, water, or shelter," Hooker said.

Hooker noted that many animals hunt at night, so its important to bring in your small dogs and cats at dusk so they're not targeted by wild animals. Also, make sure they're up to date with they're vaccinations.

"We want them up to date on their rabies shot mainly because, for one it's the law, and two in case they get into a scuffle with a wild animal," said Hooker.

It's also important to make yourself aware. He said the animals are out there, even if you don't see them, so educate yourself.

"If there is something you don't know read up on it and you'll be able to say well this is what's going on and this is what I need to do," Hooker said.

For more information, visit the Department of Natural Resources website here.

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