TWRA gives tips on how to handle wildlife

JACKSON, Tenn. — This is the time of year when we’re seeing all different types of wildlife from raccoons, to deer, to turtles and more.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has been receiving a lot of questions regarding turtles wandering in homeowners yards.

“Turtles look for, to them, a very particular spot. They sniff they rub their face in the soil, and then they start digging a hole and the female will lay a clutch of eggs,” said Amy Spencer, outreach and communications coordinator for TWRA.

Spencer says disturbing those turtle eggs can cause a lot of harm.

“You don’t want to disturb the nest or let your dog dig them up because turtle embryos are very fragile and could be killed at handled,” Spencer said.

If you see a turtle in the middle of the street, TWRA says just move it to the other side of the road. 

It is illegal to take any wildlife from the wild, including certain turtles.

“This is the time of year where people are seeing baby raccoons, baby possums, baby deer. Please leave them alone. Don’t take them from the wild. Don’t steal them from their mother. If you’re there, you’re leaving your scent. You’re all around, and she’s not going to come back,” Spencer said.

To keep wild animals away from your home, Spencer advises homeowners to keep pet food inside.

“Don’t leave your pet food out in your backyard or on your deck because that’s what attracts them, so don’t leave your domestic animal food out there. Take that up at night,” Spencer said.

If you come across a wild animal, TWRA strongly advises leaving them alone. 

“The best thing is watch wildlife from a far and enjoy it,” Spencer said.

If you see that an animal is hurt or not thriving, TWRA suggests you to contact a licensed rehabilitator here.

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