As the temperatures begin to cool down, the need for education about urban wildlife increases. Coyotes and bobcats can often been seen in Collin County, and the city of Allen is now providing a way for residents to report these sightings to help officials identify patterns and educate neighbors.
Nighttime and early-morning sightings of large wild animals, including coyotes and bobcats, can be reported via the city’s Online Help Desk or MyAllen App for iOS or Google devices.
In a city release Allen Animal Control Supervisor Deborah Michnick said coyote sightings often spike as adult coyotes teach their pups survival skills
“We want to respect the behavior of our native wildlife while reducing interactions between wild animals and pets,” Michnick said in the release.
Allen Animal Control does not intervene when coyotes and bobcats roam their natural habitat, including urban environments, the releases states. However, animal control officers will respond to reports of sick, injured or unusually aggressive wildlife.
According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), nuisance control actions cannot eliminate urban wildlife problems, although this can be part of the solution in some situations. Ultimately, TPWD officials say, public education is the solution.
Allen Animal Control also noted last week a bat tested positive for rabies after it was found in a backyard on Lehigh Lane near North Watters Road and Stacy Road.
City officials said one domestic dog was exposed to the bat and was quarantined until Animal Control can confirm it was not infected.
Pets should be vaccinated and kept inside or confined in a kennel or covered exercise yard, or within the close presence of an adult, according to TPWD. Walk pets on a leash and accompany them outside, especially at night.
One thing that is sure to attract wild animals is food, so TPWD officials warn of feeding them or leaving food accessible. Garbage, compost and pet food should be secured. Even fruit trees should be monitored as fruit falls to the ground.
Visit cityofallen.org/1911/wild-animals for information or to report sightings or injured animals.