PODCAST: Understanding Local Wildlife
With the prevalence of wild animal sightings in our community, it is important to remember what to do when you may encounter an animal. First and foremost, avoid contact with dangerous animals such as bears or coyotes if you see them around your community. If you are in your home and see an animal in your backyard or on your porch, Sgt. Kim Chandler recommends making noise to scare the animal and let them know they should not come back to the location. The Department of Fish and Wildlife also appreciates reports of sightings of wild animals such as coyotes and bears on either their website or through a phone call.
If they are injured or appear to have health issues, do not try to rehabilitate or aid it on your own. To help the animal, you can call the PAWS Wildlife Center for information on what to do. PAWS may come to help the animal, but you can also call the Department of Fish and Wildlife for more active collection of the animal to be redirected to a veterinary/rehabilitation center.
To avoid attracting wild animals in the first place, it is recommended that people keep food sources secure and make sure things like garbage cans, cat/dog food, compost, etc. are unavailable for wild animals to reach. This will ensure that they do not consider your area to be a place to get food, and they are likely to leave it alone once that is established.
If you encounter a wild animal, here are the numbers and websites that you can go to for help and to report the sighting:
The Department of Fish and Wildlife
Website – wdfw.wa.gov
Number – 360-902-2200
PAWS Wildlife Center
Website – https://www.paws.org/wildlife/
Number – 425-412-4040