Longview officers combat wildlife invasion - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Longview officers combat wildlife invasion

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It was a mild winter and a good spring for East Texas wildlife, and at least one East Texas city is battling a daily invasion of that wildlife into neighborhood areas. Longview animal control officers phone lines have been constantly ringing - calls from all over the city reporting wildlife that needs to be captured.

"We've had a lot of calls about wildlife. Raccoon activity this year - a lot of baby raccoons," says Longview animal control officer Chris Kemper.

Skunks, foxes, possums, deer, snapping turtles, snakes and a lot of raccoons have all been caught within the city limits this spring.

"We've had a very unusual spring in terms of certain types of animals. Different years we see different types of animals, but particularly raccoons," Kemper says.

As wildlife looks to expand its territory and find new places to feed, they also look for new places to reproduce.

"Attics are what raccoons are looking for - a dark quiet place -  and attics provide that," says Kemper.

The reason is fairly simple.

"We had a nice spring, and a nice spring lends itself towards lots of baby animals," he says.

Capture and relocation doesn't solve the problem.

"No matter how many you relocate, they're going to come back. People inadvertently invite them in by leaving pet food out at night, dog food, cat food. When you start trying to feed nature you don't really get to choose what nature you feed," Kemper says.

Animal control officers say to keep wildlife from visiting your home or property, start by not feeding them or leaving pet food outside. Officers also advise you to not try to trap or capture animals yourselves. They don't want you or the animals to get hurt.

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