Protecting Florida Wildlife As It Becomes More Active In Spring

From black bears to alligators and manatees, the Sunshine State is home to a wide array of wildlife and many will begin nesting, mating and feeding in the spring. wild animal really should stay wild,” said Kimberly Titterington, director of Swamp Girl Adventures Reptile Rehabilitation. Titterington said Florida’s continued growth brings many changes.” before and now they’re not, and they’re trying to adapt,” Titterington said. “A lot of them in the spring are going to have babies and their way of adjusting sometimes moves into the human realm.” Officials say if you encounter Florida wildlife, give them space.”Animals generally won’t try to approach you unless they feel threatened or have a reason to approach,” said Lisa Thompson, spokesperson for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Anyone who feels threatened by an animal is encouraged to try hazing. noise, banging pots and pans, yelling,” Thompson said. Thompson said to remove anything animals could potentially eat outside your home. “If you’re talking about bears, coyotes, raccoons scrubbers, that would be garbage,” Thompson said. “So , if you live in bear country, you want to try using bear-resistant trash cans.” Whether it’s the sea turtles hatching on the beach or the gopher tortoise crossing the road, experts say it’s enough to admire them from a distance. “Just try to be patient and kind,” Titterington said. “Try to seek out good resources and don’t just act on something before you figure it out – try to coexist with wildlife as best we can.” The FWC says it is illegal to disturb or harm wildlife. Report incidents online or call 888-404-FWCC (3922).

From black bears to alligators and manatees – the Sunshine State is home to a wide range of wildlife and many will begin nesting, mating and feeding in the spring.

“We don’t want to try to keep them as pets – any wild animal really should stay wild,” said Kimberly Titterington, director of Swamp Girl Adventures Reptile Rehabilitation.

Titterington said Florida’s continued growth is bringing many changes.

“So you can have opossum, raccoons, or even squirrels that those trees were there before and now they’re not there, and they’re trying to adapt,” Titterington said. “A lot of those in the spring are going to have babies and their coping sometimes moves into the human realm.”

Officials say if you encounter Florida wildlife, give them space.

“Animals generally won’t try to approach you unless they feel threatened or have a reason to approach you,” Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Lisa Thompson said.

Anyone who feels threatened by an animal is advised to try to haze it.

“Make a loud, intimidating noise for the animal, make noise, bang pots and pans, howl,” Thompson said.

Thompson said to remove anything outside your home that animals could potentially eat.

“If you’re talking about bears, coyotes, raccoons, that would be garbage,” Thompson said. “So if you live in bear country, you want to try using bear-proof trash cans.”

Whether it’s the sea turtles hatching on the beach or the gopher turtle crossing the road, experts say it’s enough to admire them from a distance.

“Just try to be patient and kind,” Titterington said. “Try to seek out good resources and don’t just act on something before you figure it out – try to coexist with wildlife as best we can.”

The FWC says it is illegal to disturb or harm wildlife. Report incidents online or call 888-404-FWCC (3922).