Cougars, Coyotes and Deer, Oh My: What to Do When Wildlife Comes Calling

These critters are increasingly turning up among human populations, even in urban areas, increasing the risks to people and their pets. Here's what you need to know.

Cougars, Coyotes and Deer, Oh My: What to Do When Wildlife Comes Calling Photo (cc) by Photo Cindy

Since the dawn of civilization, wild beasts have been drawn to human communities. Just as in 1450, when a pack of wolves terrorized residents of Paris neighborhoods, wild animals like raccoons, deer and coyotes are a familiar sight today in many American towns and some cities.

The occasional cougar crosses city limits, not only in the West but even sometimes in the urbanized East. In June 2011, for example, a driver struck and killed a cougar near Milford, Connecticut. The 140-pound cougar was found, through DNA testing, to have traveled 1,800 miles, from the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Here are our tips on how to coexist peacefully with four types of wild beasts you might see in your own backyard:

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