SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Sanford residents have been puzzled after seeing various wild animals roaming their neighborhoods in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.
Neighbors have told News 6 that they’ve caught wild boards, turkeys, cows and deer.
Local resident Alex Montoya said that when he first saw a cow, he called the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office.
“They came right away and took care of the situation,” Montoya said.
A representative from Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Commission told News 6 that major storms can displace wildlife and cause animals to become more active, leading to situations like those in Sanford.
The agency warned that the best way to handle these kinds of situations is to stay alert and give the animals space.
Montoya said he lets the animals roam and keeps his distance, but he still worries about “aggressive” wild boars, which pose a danger to his children.
“They like to dig up dirt and all that, you know?” Montoya said. “(They) can cause a lot of damage. They can be evasive at times.”
Montoya’s neighbor showed News 6 where part of his backyard has been dug up by boars.
FWC provided the following suggestions to stay safe:
- Secure your food
- Keep pets on a short leash
- Use loud noises and hand gestures to get animals to move
- Avoid forcing animals into a corner without an escape in sight
- Avoid flushing animals into roadways where they may be injured or cause accidents
According to FWC, trapping, relocating or killing native wildlife should only be done as a last resort — and only if the animal meets the FWC’s criteria for “Nuisance Wildlife.”
For a list of these criteria or information on how to prevent wildlife conflicts, visit FWC’s website here.
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