Wildlife Concerns

Many species of wild animals, including raccoons, opossums, skunks, squirrels, etc., have adapted to urban lifestyles because city environments support them. Urbanized wild animals can lose their fear of humans as they associate human habitat as a source of food, water, and shelter. This can create a dangerous situation when wild animals become dependent on humans for food. They can become too bold and close proximity to humans increase the chances for a bite or scratch.

The best solution to a wildlife presence or to dissuade wild animals from taking residence on your property is to make some simple alterations in human behaviors. The following steps can help to discourage wild animals from adapting to your property.

  • Tightly secure trash can lids. Store trash cans in sheds, garages or other enclosures.
  • Put trash out in secure trash cans the morning of trash pick-up, not the night before.
  • Never leave or store pet food outside.
  • Keep all outdoor grills clean.
  • Store compost in well secured bins or avoid adding vegetables or other food items to open bins. Small mammals feeding in open bins may attract other wild animals that feed on them.
  • Pick ripe fruit off trees, keep fruit off the ground, and fence vegetable gardens or use a green house.
  • Install motion sensor outdoor lighting or sprinkler systems.
  • Clear brush and dense foliage where wild animals may find shelter or small animals to feed upon.
  • Close off crawl spaces under porches, decks, and sheds; reinforce chimney openings and vents with wire mesh; inspect roofs for construction gaps and replace all damaged or rotting siding.
  • Trim tree branches away from your residence to eliminate a “highway” to your roof; keep underbrush under control and mow your lawn frequently.

Wild Animal Removal

Do-it-yourself trapping of wild animals can be dangerous for the untrained person and the failure to prepare for an unintended wild animal conflict may result in a painful bite or scratch. There are few humane traps available that will keep all paws and claws in or fingers out. There are a number of commercial pest control companies in the greater San Antonio area that specialize in the removal of wildlife nuisances both inside and outside a home or business. Listings for commercial pest control companies can be found on-line or in the yellow pages.

Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the welfare and rehabilitation of injured and displaced wildlife. They have developed a very comprehensive information and education webpage that can be viewed at www.wildlife-rescue.org . For more information on this organization and services they may offer please visit their website or call (210) 257-8823.

If a raccoon, opossum or skunk is seen during daylight hours and appears to be sick, disoriented or injured, please call the Alamo Heights Police Dispatcher at (210) 822-3321 so an officer may be dispatched to make an evaluation.

Urbanized Coyotes

Coyotes are an extremely adaptable wildlife species that survive well in urban environments – including our City. The patchwork of parks, open areas, and the Olmos Basin wilderness offers a habitat the urbanized coyote is adept at exploring. This habitat provides coyotes and other species of wild animals plentiful sources of food, water, and shelter. Large rodent populations, accessible garbage and plenty of green spaces are all reasons why coyotes call the Olmos Basin area home.

For more information on urbanized coyotes you can click here.