Animal encounters rise in Henderson - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Animal encounters rise in Henderson

LONGVIEW,TX (KLTV) - Even in small communities, housing and urban development is moving into areas that were formerly occupied by its original inhabitants: Wildlife.

Henderson animal control officers have trapped wildlife near or inside the city limits.

"Oh yeah, we've seen bobcats, coyotes, foxes, skunks even wild hogs in residential areas," says Henderson Animal Control Director Veronica Whittington.

There have been some bizarre encounters.

"Yesterday we have a lady walk out of her house and call us saying a snake fell right around her neck," she says.

And some very big escaped pets have been trapped, like a 12-foot python.

Near homes and even schools, close encounters are becoming regular.

"Just around our building we've seen raccoons, we've seen possums, wild hogs," says Preschool Director Vickey Whitt.

"A coyote jumped a fence and bit a woman's dog on the nose, the coyote wouldn't leave her yard now," Whittington says.

And there is a real danger.

"Especially people who have small pets or small children. The diseases they can pass to your pets and to you, there's a lot of diseases that can be passed on to humans," says Whittington.

Whittington says most of the encounters are easily explained, and are usually animals looking for food. But with East Texas having so much open, wooded country, animal control officers say we should no longer be surprised.

"There's a lot more wildlife inside the city limits than people think, because we have so much wooded area," Veronica says.

There have been no reports encounters of larger animals like cougars or bears.

All wildlife trapped by Henderson Animal Control is re-located by Texas Parks and Wildlife agents.

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