Tropical Depression Bill left flooding in its wake throughout the central United States, endangering lives and property, but the floods affected wild animals as well. Large reptiles such as alligator snapping turtles and alligators were flushed out of their normal habitats and residents have reported seeing them strolling across their lawns. Other wild animals, like rodents, raccoons and skunks have had to seek out higher ground when their habitats are flooded, causing a few more run-ins with humans than normal. And, the smaller wild animals are quickly followed by larger predators, like coyotes. Officials from Oklahoma to Louisiana and Texas are reminding residents to avoid direct contact with wild animals that have been displaced by floods. Do not feed these wild animals, because they will encourage the animals to remain in the vicinity of this new food source instead of returning to their natural habitat and their normal foods. Wild animals who have been displaced do not understand when people are trying to help them, and will scratch and bite to protect themselves. Do not handle any wild animal, do not feed them, and try to avoid roadways near flooded areas to reduce chances of disturbing or hitting wildlife seeking higher and drier ground.
Flood waters will carry snakes into residential or business areas. Rats, mice or chipmunks will seek out dry attics or the walls inside homes or other structures. Skunks, opossums or raccoons may be forced to leave their dens and they will seek out dry areas in crawlspaces or in garages. In many areas, the local officials are busy responding to calls of alligator sightings, displaced deer herds, or bears that are affected by the floods, and cannot immediately respond to calls about raccoons or rats. Allstate Animal Control has a network of licensed, experienced nuisance animal control technicians who can help you. If you have wild animals that have been affected by the floods in your home, on your property, or around your family, pets or livestock, contact Allstate Animal Control at 1-888-488-7720 or allstateanimalcontrol.com to schedule a service call right away.