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Mountain Lion Death Provides Important Reminder

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BERKELEY, Calif. (KCBS) _ Wild animals continue to move closer to populated areas of California, a fact that was never more evident then last week, when police had to shoot and kill a mountain lion which was wandering around Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto.

Raccoons in the backyard, skunks wandering around. Many people find them charming and even put out food for them.

“You’re really not helping the animals that much,” said Daniel Wilson with the Alameda County Vector Control.

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He said the animals become dependent on us for food, they lose their fears of humans and get bold, and even aggressive.

“There was a biting incident with a raccoon and a lady who had been walking her dog in Livermore,” Wilson said. “And she got mauled pretty bad. It just kind of ran up on her, got on her head and scratched her head and scalp pretty bad.”

This is just one of a rash of incidents, including four raccoon confrontations in the city of Alameda recently.

“Unless we are able to identify the exact animal and capture it and test it for rabies, the person probably has to go through the rabies post exposure treatment,” said Wilson.

Wilson said he thinks the time may have come for laws that ban people from feeding wildlife.

“We need to have some kind of regulations about putting out food knowingly for raccoons or skunks,” he said.

Or pesky, aggressive, disease-carrying birds like crows.

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