Friday, April 13, 2012

When Animals Attack in Suburbia

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I ran across this article from the Tampa Tribune about a woman who was bit by a bobcat when she tried to help it.  Unfortunately, when she tried to save the animal after it was injured on the road, she was bitten and the animal was euthanized.

One of my former students, Amanda Gilleland, did her dissertation on animal/human conflicts in suburban settings in Florida.  Most conflicts are really quite benign and involve things like raccoons or possums getting in places people don't want them.  There are a number of companies that will trap the animal and relocate it or kill it.

Some conflicts are more extreme, such as the bobcat bite situation noted above.  The presence of alligators is another issue that confronts suburban dwellers in Florida.

It is important to note that most of the conflicts that occur between animals and suburbanites happen with animals that have adapted to the suburban setting.  Bobcat, bear, and panther conflicts are almost unheard of.  We typically find out about their presence when they are hit by a car.

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