Pets, Places, & Things, Points on Pets

Where the Wild Things Roam…Look…But Don’t Touch!

By Victoria Elliott Where the Wild Things Roam…Look…But Don’t Touch! For many people, summertime means venturing into the great outdoors to enjoy the long days, sunshine, and to soak in all the natural world has to offer before autumn comes back around and the days grow cold again. Whether it’s camping with friends in the Shenandoah Mountains, spending a relaxing day on the lake fishing, taking a long hike on the Mount Vernon Trail, or visiting a nearby National Park (of which there are so many to choose), one fact remains: with the outdoors comes all the animals that call the outdoors their home. Our area is home to a variety of wildlife: deer, possum, raccoon, squirrel, fox, and bats, among many others. As visitors to their home, it’s our responsibility to include wildlife safety in our summertime plans. Wildlife safety is a two-way street. While what first comes to mind may be precautions to take against harm from a wild animal attack, it’s equally as – if not more so – important to consider the impact that your presence has on wild animals and to take precautions to avoid causing harm to any wildlife you may encounter while enjoying your time outdoors. Keep your distance For the sake of your safety, as well as that of the wildlife, keep your distance and observe from afar. While many wild animals are beautiful to behold, especially in their natural habitat, keep in mind that they are wild. In some wild animals, contact with humans can cause rejection by other animals in their family or group. Additionally, there are illnesses that can pass to and from people, pets and wildlife, so ensure you and your pets are healthy and well before venturing out – and that you stay out of direct contact…

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