LDWF: Hurricane Ida has displaced wildlife into human areas — here’s what to look for

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BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) — The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) reminded residents this morning that humans aren’t the only species displaced by Hurricane Ida. As a result, wildlife may spill over into human areas and cause concerns.

“In the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, wildlife species will seek higher ground and be displaced into habitat with which they may not be familiar,” stated a press release. “LDWF urges the public to be especially cognizant of wildlife forced into populated areas by floodwater from the storm.”

LDWF said these animals should not be fed by humans. That will only encourage them to remain in human areas when they should be allowed to find natural habitats and food sources on their own.

LDWF gave a few tips when dealing with wildlife:

  • Avoid areas where displaced wildlife has taken refuge.
  • Avoid interaction with and do not feed displaced wildlife.
  • Avoid roadways near flooded areas to reduce likelihood of disturbance and collisions with wildlife.

Species of Concern:

  • Black Bears:  The Louisiana black bear is a species of concern during a flood incident when high water moves bears out of their habitat. For assistance with black bears that may be forced into populated areas by flood waters, call 1-337-262-2080. 
  • Alligators, Snakes: Flood waters will carry reptiles into populated areas where they may not normally be noted in significant numbers. Following the impact of flood waters, exercise extreme caution when salvaging possessions from flooded areas. Wildlife, especially reptiles, may remain in flooded areas and pose a safety threat. Venomous snake species in Louisiana include the canebrake rattlesnake, the copperhead, the cottonmouth, the eastern diamondback rattlesnake, the harlequin coral snake, the pygmy rattlesnake and the Texas coral snake. 
  • Deer, Feral Hogs: Deer and feral hog populations represent the two large quadruped species that may appear in populated areas in significant numbers as flood waters move wild animals out of natural habitat. As is the case with all wild animals, how these species will react to humans in close contact situations is unpredictable. LDWF recommends allowing these species, when sighted individually or in groups, to move unimpeded through flooded areas as they seek higher ground.
  • Marine Mammals: To report marine mammal strandings, contact Audubon Nature Institute’s Coastal Wildlife Network at 504-235-3005.
  • Sea Turtles: To report sea turtle strandings, call 1-844-SEA-TRTL (1-844-732-8785). Select option 4 to report a stranded sea turtle and then option 4 for Louisiana.

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