Be Wild Aware!

Be Wild Aware!
Posted on 07/25/2013

By Ellen Gallagher

Those of us that live in Utah are lucky to be right in the middle of some spectacular natural beauty.  But what if that nature finds its way into your garbage cans, or starts to nibble at your tomato plants?  Many people think of wildlife as something you see on a hike or at a state park, but it’s in our neighborhoods, too.

When a wild animal finds its way into your back yard, it is simply satisfying a need.  A mule deer could be looking for food, or a raccoon may be searching for a place to den.  Most people don’t want to harm these animals but can’t allow them to set up housekeeping.  So what do you do?

Wild Aware Utah is a collaborative education program that works to educate the public about living alongside wildlife.  Their website,, has information about living with wildlife; from tips on how to keep bears from eating your trash to what to do when you find a baby bird.  The website also contains contact information on who to call if a wildlife issue needs to be handled by the pros.

Here are a few general tips for making your home less hospitable to wildlife:

  • Fence off attractants such as gardens and ponds.
  • Clean up fallen fruit and seeds from bird feeders regularly.
  • Keep trash in a container with a locking lid, or put it out the morning of pick up.
  • Trim vegetation to reduce hiding places.
  • Supervise pets when they are outside.
  • Install chimney caps and close up crawl spaces.