Not only are pets affected by disaster, but other animals in the disaster area are affected as well. The Humane Society offers basic tips for people encountering wildlife or livestock on their property:
- Wild animals often seek higher ground, which, during floods, eventually become submerged and the animals become stranded. If the island is large enough and provides suitable shelter, you can leave food appropriate to the species. Animals have a flight response and will flee from anyone approaching too closely. If the animal threatens to rush into the water, back away from the island or you may frighten the animal.
- Wildlife often seek refuge from flood waters on upper levels of a home and may remain inside even after the water recedes. If you meet a rat or snake face to face, be careful but don't panic. Open a window or other escape route and the animal will probably leave on its own. Never attempt to capture a wild animal unless you have the training, protective clothing, restraint equipment and caging necessary to perform the job.
- Beware of an increased number of snakes and other predators that will try to feed on the carcasses of small mammals that have been drowned or crushed in their burrows or under rocks.
- Mosquitoes and dead animal carcasses may present disease problems and cause outbreaks of disease. The local public health office will issue news releases to assist with aiding the public regarding health issues associated with the disaster.
- If you see an injured or stranded animal in need of assistance, or you need help with evicting an animal from your home, please contact your local animal control office or the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
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