Wild Animals in CA
by Hadi Zahedi
As the season has turned into the golden days of summer, we are going to take our fuzz buddies out on hikes and trips. We’re so lucky here in Southern California to have gorgeous weather year round. But this time of year must be taken with more precaution because of the dangers of the heat, wildfires, as well as wild animals.
If you’re in an area that is mostly sandy desert:
- Various snakes are lurking in the cool ground. The rattlesnake is the most well-known with its venomous bite and rattling tail. Look out for holes in the ground as they burrow in underground dens and will strike to protect itself. They are more afraid of us than we are of them, but stay cautious of them as well as any underbrush snakes that will strike out of fear.
- Scorpions are also present in the SoCal desert. We don’t notice them but that is the real danger. The Arizona Bark Scorpion is venomous and sandy colored. Try not to go off trail where the wild really takes over the roads.
Regional hiking trails:
- Southern California forests are not quite like the Redwoods in Northern California, but danger lurks in the scrubby hillsides in the form of coyotes. These are Not dogs. They are more like wolves and will eat or attack dogs. They have started to come into our neighborhoods due to our overpopulating their natural habitats. Now more than ever, coyotes have been spotted in our own backyards. Never turn your back on a coyote. Make yourself look larger by waving your arms up and out while yelling or whistling. If all else fails, try throwing small rocks towards them and carry pepper spray with you.
- The same goes for cougars. Their natural instinct is to avoid humans but your little buddy may attract them. The same tactics to scare coyotes are recommended for cougars but Do Not approach the cat. You can also purchase special gear for your dog that has spikes all over it so the wild animal cannot get a bite in.
Your own home may be a place of concern:
- Look around for black widow spiders hanging out in dark corners and crevices. Your own shoes should be checked before heading out.
- Killer bees (Africanized honey bees) look so similar to honey bees but they are far from the cute pollinators that we love. They are a bit smaller and their bands are more brown than black. Of course, regular bee stings hurt like heck, but killer bees are very aggressive and will chase you if threatened. They live in hives as well as underground so these pests are definitely around. Run away and seek shelter if ever followed by killer bees.
What region are you from? Stay tuned for more info on wild animals to look out for in your area! For great informative resources, please visit the Humane Society