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With Wildlife Attacks On Pets And Livestock Rising, FWC Wants Public To Take Precautions

FWC's Flickr
A collared panther and her kitten

Wildlife attacks on pets and livestock are on the rise in Florida. State wildlife officials are reminding residents and visitors to take some extra precautions.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Carli Segelson says preventative measures include removing the animals’ food source.

“So, for example, both bears and coyotes would be attracted to trash or to birdfeeders, pet food that’s left out for your dog or our cat. Panthers, on the other hand, while they don’t necessarily eat those particular attractants, they would be attracted to the animals that are attracted to those attractants. So, if you had trash and that was attracting raccoons, that might attract a panther to linger in your neighborhood,” she said.

And, she says cats are particularly easy targets.

“And, an easy way to keep your cat safe is to keep them inside,” Segelson added. “This is not only better for your cat, but it’s also good for native wildlife, like songbirds, which often fall prey to cats.

Livestock can also be better protected by having a fenced-in closed area or electric fencing. For more information, visit myFWC.com.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.