Flower Mound’s Wild Neighbors

Flower Mound is full of . As the weather cools our wild neighbors may be more active and therefore more visible. Services would like to remind citizens of some of the various types of wildlife in the area, how to identify them, and what to do if you see wildlife.

Bobcat The is also called a . The bobcat is a medium-sized member of the North American . It has a short bobbed , round face, and pointed ears. A bobcat is two-three times bigger than a house cat and appears more muscular and fuller in the body. Also, a bobcat’s hind legs are longer than its front legs. are 28-40 inches long and can weigh up to 40 pounds.

Coyote resemble a small collie , with erect ears, slender muzzle, and a bushy tail. Coyotes weigh between 22 and 45 pounds. The coat has guard to protect him from the weather and a thick undercoat for insulation. Body coat color varies from brownish yellow to reddish gray, with darker colors more common in the northern reaches of the . Legs, feet, and ears are rusty, and under parts are whitish. The tail has a black tip. His long legs, pointed muzzle and upright, pointed ears complete the picture. They have good eyesight and and a keen of smell. Coyotes can run up to speeds of 40 miles per hour.

Raccoon The is a stocky about 2 to 3 feet long, and weigh about 10 to 30 pounds. Sometimes they can even weigh as much as 40 to 50 pounds. They have a black mask marking on their face and have a ringed tail. like to wash their food in water before the eat it.

Opossum An is a whitish or grayish mammal about the size of a house cat. Its face is long and pointed, its ears round and hairless. Maximum length is 40 inches. weigh as much as 14 pounds. They can hold on to things with their .

Skunk The is a member of the family. The skunk has short, stocky legs and large feet that have that enables it to dig very well. They can have one or two stripes on their back. They are about the size of a house cat. In length, they can get up to 29 inches long and weigh about 8 pounds.

Fox There are two kinds of in . The and . The is dog- like in appearance, with a long pointed muzzle and large pointed ears. They have long legs, and long with a bushy tail. Red foxes weigh about 7.7 to 15.9 pounds. The gray fox weighs about 7 to 13 pounds and measure 32 to 45 inches from nose to tip of tail.

Snake There are all kinds of snakes in Texas. Most snakes are not poisonous, however, you should always assume that all snakes are. Forty-six present of snakebites are bites to children and teenagers. Two of the most common poisonous snakes in our area are the Copperhead and the Water Moccasin also known as the Cottonmouth. The Copperhead is brown with brown markings. A beautiful colored snake. It is not very aggressive but will fight if threatened. The copperhead is sluggish, and is 20 to 30 inches long. The Cottonmouth also called the Water Moccasin. This snake is dark in color with a flat head. Its venom is 30% less toxic than the diamond back rattler. Less than 7% of hospitalizations of snakebites are that of the cottonmouth. Cottonmouths are not afraid of humans unless they feel threatened.

Please do not approach wildlife. Wild are beautiful but please enjoy them from afar.

 Here are some common sense precautions people can take to manage wildlife: o Do not feed wildlife! Keep food and water inside. Keep garbage securely stored, especially if it has to be put on the curb for collection; use tight-locking or bungee-cord-wrapped trashcans that are not easily opened. o Keep compost piles securely covered; correct composting never includes animal matter like or , which can draw coyotes even more quickly that decomposing vegetable matter. o Keep inside, confined securely in a kennel or covered exercise yard, or within the close presence of an adult. o Walk pets on a leash and accompany them outside, especially at night. o Do not feed wildlife on the ground; keep wild seed in feeders designed for elevated or hanging above ground, and clean up spilled seed from the ground; wildlife can either be drawn directly to the seed, or to the drawn to the seed. o Keep fruit trees fenced or pick up fruit that falls to the ground. o Do not feed (domestics gone wild); this can encourage coyotes or bobcats to prey on cats and the food you leave out for them. o Minimize clusters of shrubs, trees and other cover and food plants near buildings and children's play areas to avoid attracting rodents and snakes. o Use noise making and other scaring devices when wildlife have been seen. Check with local authorities regarding noise and firearms ordinances. Portable air horns, motor vehicle horns, propane cannons, starter pistols, low-powered pellet guns, slingshots, and thrown rocks can be effective.

Flower Mound Animal Services request that you please be aware of your surroundings when outside enjoying the cooler weather. Please contact the Flower Mound Animal Services at 972.874.6390 for more information on your wild neighbors.