Animals to Avoid as You Venture Outdoors this Spring
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Most humans leave the outside to the animals during the winter, but want to join outdoor life again when spring arrives. Here are some suggestions for how to do this safely:
- Hibernating animals are always dangerous soon after they wake up, because they are hungry. Global warming has worsened this situation with its accompanying higher winter temperatures and lower snowfalls. This means that hibernators are awake for part of the winter during which they are meant to conserve energy, but still unable to find food in the snowy conditions. If you venture out of the city this spring, remember that the bears you encounter are both tired and starving. Make noise when you move around so bears and wolves have time to get out of your way.
- Squirrels have the same problem as bears, so keep your dogs in check. It might be an exciting chase for them, but it will worsen the misery of an already suffering animal.
- Bats also hibernate during the winter, so they are out and about in search of food in the spring.
- When you spring clean your attic or garden shed, wear gloves and even a face mask. People can contract Hantavirus from contact with the urine and feces of infected rodents. This is potentially fatal.
- The intelligence and curiosity of raccoons has driven them into cities where they try to find food. They search for breeding space in spring, so keep your garden well-lit if you have seen them around. They are aggressive when protecting their babies and consequently very difficult to remove if they find a nice space in your garden shed.
- If you go camping, apply a good insect repellent against mosquitoes and ticks. Mosquitoes are just a nuisance, but some of the ticks you encounter in the wild may cause potentially unpleasant illnesses like lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. If you do spot a tick on your body, use tweezers to pull it out in one piece.
- Watch out for wildlife on the roads, especially around dawn and dusk. Four to eight Canadian motorists hit an animal every hour.
Be kind to the animals this spring and keep your family safe.