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Kirk W

Coyotes, hawks, owls, bobcats, and other critters....

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We often have discussions here on the forums about wildlife issues when RVing, particularly when you camp in remote, off the beaten path areas, and it seems to be getting common for home owners in US cities to report issues with those critters attacking our pets, but an Escapee friend who lives in Australia sent me the link to this story, with the comment that we should not complain. Take a look at this one!

Father saves four-year-old son from enormous scrub python in Airlie Beach

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That's quite scary. It is an effect, though, of us moving into wildlife's territory. The closest I came to anything like this is when coyotes nearly lured off a neighbor's dog while we were all camped in the Arizona desert. At that time we were so new to desert camping that I hadn't even heard of such a danger.

Linda

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We have lived in the high country in Colorado for years and for some of that time we had cattle.  We love the wildlife and enjoy seeing them from a distance but infrequently it is to close.  Bears, coyotes, skunks, bobcats and even a couple of mountain lions to close.  We have come face to face with a few snakes, mostly bull snakes but thankfully nothing that big.

Edited by Randyretired

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We have that threat growing in S. Florida today, pythons are expanding exponentially in the everglades, they have no natural predator to hunt them. One was killed with a 4' alligator inside.

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12 hours ago, Randyretired said:

We love the wildlife and enjoy seeing them from a distance but infrequently it is to close. 

A major part of the wildlife in cities in the US is that as we build houses in what used to be natural areas we destroy the food sources of the animals living there. Our son in Carrollton, TX (Dallas suburb) lives where the yard backs on an electric transmission right of way. He took pictures of a bobcat walking on their privacy fence about two weeks ago. It appeared to be stalking some squirrels.

9 hours ago, Ray,IN said:

pythons are expanding exponentially in the everglades,

When we volunteered with Everglades NP in 2008/9 they were actively working to track and remove pythons with some success but i is a growing problem. We were told that the swamp rabbits are expected to soon be extinct due to the growing population of pythons. This picture is one from the visitor area that we worked in while we were there.

80401425_10214946500927763_7073525126049

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Thanks, Ray! I had not seen that but when we went through seasonal ranger training in 2008 they brought in several live pythons to make sure that all of us would be able to identify them if seen. The picture that I posted was taken at the Shark Valley visitor center area and that snake weighed more than 200#.

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I live in Antioch, CA (Norcal in the Eastbay) We bought a house with a lot size of 13,000 SF 3 years ago. Our 2 neighbors have even bigger lots. But that's it everyone else is 5K-7K SF lots. We have Owls that live in the trees on our lots. It's pretty amazing to see and hear them. We also have Hawks and Coyotes aplenty around us. A beautiful Hawk was perched on our patio roof recently and we had a "Birdseye" view from our bedroom window. As someone said there is so much building now on what used to be acres and acres of open land these critters have no where to go.

We've seen skunks, moles and rabbits as well.

I hope to see more when we hit the road.

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17 hours ago, RV_ said:

Kirk,

I just see numbers no picture.

Not sure why you don't see it but the picture is of a snake that was taken from Shark Valley area of Everglades NP while we were there. As I remember it was 17'+ long and weighed 250+#.

And I must agree with the picture in your post!

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So, where's it hosted, and/or what program/App is needed to see it?  Kirk, I'm sure you do agree since the picture/numbers copied came from your post.

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Got it now. I have new computers I'm setting up, and this forum is very Firefox unfriendly. I just switched to edge and can see them. That explains why I don't see much of the page headers either, just place holders when I'm using Firefox. More laissez-faire website maintenance? No biggie, I have little time for being here until we finish our updates to the house after the new carpet is installed. House was fine just not our colors or style. 

Edited by RV_

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If the pythons would just go after the wild hogs causing problems it would be great..    I think they are having the same issue with Boa Constrictors too.

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On 12/23/2019 at 9:27 AM, jamtracy said:

I live in Antioch, CA (Norcal in the Eastbay) We bought a house with a lot size of 13,000 SF 3 years ago. Our 2 neighbors have even bigger lots. But that's it everyone else is 5K-7K SF lots. We have Owls that live in the trees on our lots. It's pretty amazing to see and hear them. We also have Hawks and Coyotes aplenty around us. A beautiful Hawk was perched on our patio roof recently and we had a "Birdseye" view from our bedroom window. As someone said there is so much building now on what used to be acres and acres of open land these critters have no where to go.

We've seen skunks, moles and rabbits as well.

I hope to see more when we hit the road.

We live in Colorado Springs, CO and have had for 30 years now. Our lot is about 7500 SF which is average for the area. When we bought this house which is situated on higher ground we had unobstructed views to the north and east. Now it is all houses and buildings. Proximity to the mountains as always given us a lot of wildlife, and surprising to me, we seem to have more as the city has built outwards. We have some kind of owl hanging out in the blue spruce in front. I have pictures of a Red Tailed hawk enjoying the bird bath in back. We have an epidemic of rabbits and squirrels, which perhaps explains the raptors in the area. We frequently are visited by foxes, coyotes, raccoons, and deer.  A short distance away bears have been sighted. 

In my opinion, and I suppose this should be tempered by terrain, but the animals could move on but don't thanks to humans feeling sorry for them and feeding them. In Colorado that is illegal but it is also very difficult to enforce so the animals are where there are easy pickings.

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We had a neighbor some years ago that liked deer so they fed them.  What follows deer soon arrived!  Mountain lions and a few bears.  The division of wild life talked to them but it only sort of helped.  The division also had to come shoot a couple of deer due to advanced waisting disease. 

Edited by Randyretired

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We had neighbors who put out food for all sorts of critters then complained that they had ants in the house. You don't always know what you are encouraging when you start messing with wildlife.

Linda Sand

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On 12/23/2019 at 9:00 AM, Kirk W said:

Thanks, Ray! I had not seen that but when we went through seasonal ranger training in 2008 they brought in several live pythons to make sure that all of us would be able to identify them if seen. The picture that I posted was taken at the Shark Valley visitor center area and that snake weighed more than 200#.

Here are the details of the latest hunt: https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/florida/fl-ne-python-hunt-everglades-20200110-fuhnh3zaj5gvzkzw7turmhlqve-story.html

I guess shotguns are out this year.

Edited by Ray,IN

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The gators at Shark Valley will make you understand how people used to fear them, completely fearless. And the trolley guide told us the story about a 10 yo Brazilian boy who rode his bike into the canal full of those gators. The boys mother literally smashed her cellphone on the gators head that had her son. She finally got him loose but the boy spent months in a Miami hospital.

We are used to critters being afraid of us, but it wasn't always so. Read up on wolf attacks one of these days if you think they are soft cuddley critters. Like farmers found with 15 dead wolves around them with the dead, half eaten farmer and his empty gun.

You have to wonder if we are recreating the past with dangerous critters. Look at the booming gator population in Florida for example. Yes I'm for preserving predators but only at a safe population level.

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10 hours ago, agesilaus said:

The gators at Shark Valley will make you understand how people used to fear them, completely fearless.

A few years ago, we spent the winter at Shark Valley working as naturalist rangers.(2008/9) My job was to give amphitheater talks about alligators and to lead nature walks around the visitor center area. In preparation, I went through seasonal ranger training followed by a week with the park's alligator study team. It was a great experience and I was the nearest ranger when a young girl rode her bike into  the canal and struck a 10' long gator. While the girl was frightened as were her family and everyone who saw it happen, the gators all ran for their lives in fear and there were no injuries, other than to the nerves of all of us nearby. The mom was first to the girl, followed seconds later by myself. It could well be that my experience was not the only incident of this sort, but I think that your tour guide has a talent for creative storytelling.

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