AUSTIN, Texas — As more people are staying at home due to coronavirus limitations, there have been several reports across the globe of wildlife sightings in unusual places.
Coyotes have been spotted in Downtown Chicago and near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, a puma was seen roaming the streets in Santiago, Chile, and a herd of goats even took over a town in Wales.
There have even been some interesting sightings closer to home.
After an alligator was captured in Williamson County on Tuesday and KVUE viewer Justin Brogna shared an image of a snake scaling a tree near 12th and Rio Grande Streets in Downtown Austin on Wednesday, we decided to reach out to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to see if they were seeing more animals taking back Texas.
In short, they said not so much.
"Our team of urban biologists said that they haven’t seen anything out of the ordinary but think that people may just be noticing nature more because they are working from home," a TPWD spokesperson said. "Another factor could also be the increased utilization of home security cameras, which shows passing animals when homeowners aren’t normally outside. It is springtime, so things are generally 'waking up' and potentially expanding their previous home ranges as they look for mates and food."
But that didn't stop many Central Texans from commenting with their own stories on our Facebook post.
"That [snake] looks like the one they removed out of our house yesterday in Hutto," said Heather Roberts.
"Seems like more squirrels are in my backyard, including two babies. I’ve never seen such tiny squirrels out in the open," said Judy Benoit Natividad of Cedar Park. "My guess is that they’re surviving because there are fewer cars to run them over. The baby squirrels, omg!"
"I had a pair of roadrunners land on a second-story deck at my house, each grabbed a lizard," said Kathy Borth. "Drank out of the dog's bowl and then flew off. Later a possum ambled across the backyard: I think the lawnmowers down the street disturbed him."
"Just came across a very pissed off and large rattlesnake in my backyard," said Carl Keprta of Leander.
"I think we have had everything in our yard right now, honestly, but I have been spotting a lot of foxes in my neighborhood," said Cristal Gutierrez Esparza of Pflugerville.
Melanie Pace Kinslow told KVUE a fox visited her home and was drinking from the water bowl meant for her cat.
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