A Sharp Reminder About Arlington's Abundant Wildlife
By Carol Weemes, Arlington Animal Services
Posted on February 21, 2020, February 21, 2020


Yes, you are looking into the eyes of a porcupine! This prickly critter was recently roaming a west Arlington neighborhood and was safely relocated to a natural area deep within in a park surrounded by lots of trees, roots, pine needles, berries, budding flora and other natural vegetation for nourishment.

“Sightings of porcupines are rare, but they are native to this area, and are making a comeback”, said Ray Rentschler, field operations manager at Arlington Animal Services. “River otters and the American alligator are also making comebacks.”

Currently, the most common wildlife in Arlington is opossums and raccoons. The area is so full of wildlife that it prompted the development of an urban wildlife website to help Arlington property owners be aware of the creatures living among us, with tips on how to co-exist harmoniously.

Neighborhoods with a history of being invaded by egrets are provided education and tools to help encourage egret scouts in search of nesting areas to make their homes in park areas rather than residential neighborhoods. Typically, areas with dense tree canopies are most inviting. Tree trimming can help with rookery prevention

A visit to River Legacy Park, or one of the City’s nearly 100 other parks offers nature enthusiasts and photographers a dreamscape of photo opportunities. Many neighborhoods touch the boundaries of the City’s 4,700 acres of park land with 53 miles of park trail. 

Property owners are encouraged to take a proactive approach to wildlife and focus on the beneficial aspects of Arlington’s wildlife.

This is baby season for many wild animals. It is best for a young animal to receive its care from its mother. If you encounter a helpless baby bird, squirrel or other wildlife, and need more information, visit the Orphaned or Injured Wildlife webpage for information including local wildlife rescue organizations available to help with orphaned or injured wild animals, such as DFW Wildlife Coalition at 972-234-9453, or 911 Wildlife at 817-737-0911. 

“If someone does not want wildlife on their property the focus should be to remove food, water and shelter,” said Rentschler. “This means picking up pet food, keeping brush up, blocking holes under out buildings and keeping standing water dumped.”

Providing wildlife education is something Rentschler especially enjoys. He teaches classes for area youth, specialty groups and clubs, and other animal shelters in the area.

It is important to keep an eye on your pets and vaccinate them regularly to protect them from rabies. Low-cost pet vaccinations are available through Texas Coalition for Animal Protection (TCAP) at the Animal Services Center three times per month. 

The Urban Wildlife website offers information about high-risk rabies carriers such as coyotes, foxes, bats, skunks and raccoons, with links to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and more. 

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