California drought may exacerbate wildlife-human encounters

Aug 22, 2015 2:24 PM by News Staff

LOOMIS, Calif. (AP) - A scarcity of food in the wild during California's drought has been blamed for unusual animal activity from bear attacks to an uptick in orphaned animals.

But state officials and experts say the devastating four-year dry spell isn't the sole cause. While animals are expanding their search for food and water, human development was already splitting their habitats.

Researchers say signs point to the drought exacerbating long-term trends, but more data is needed to figure out the extent.

Diane Nicholas believes depleted food supplies in the Sierra Foothills are behind a record number of orphaned and injured deer sent to her fawn rescue near Sacramento.

University of California, Davis researcher Fraser Schilling says his review of road kill reports suggests animals are crossing more roads to forage in the drought.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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