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Drought Emergency: Dry Conditions Sending Wildlife Into East Bay Neighborhoods

SAN RAMON (KPIX 5) – The drought emergency in the Bay Area is not only affecting humans, but also wildlife.

From turkeys strolling along streets, to wild pigs appearing on surveillance video digging up yards, bone dry conditions in the hills has sent thirsty wildlife into neighborhoods, particularly in the East Bay. Other creatures spotted in neighborhoods recently include mountain lions and even the occasional bear.

Wildlife experts say its the season for these visitors. Dry hillsides causing wildlife to stroll to low lying areas to find food and precious water.

Turkeys roaming
Turkeys roaming a neighborhood in the Bay Area. (CBS)

"Around this time of the year, the pigs' food starts to dry up. So they expand their search for food and they inevitably end up in someone's yard and garden," Ken Paglia of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife told KPIX 5.

In extreme cases, homeowners have obtained a depredation permit or hired a state-licensed trapper.

Paglia suggested start with taking away an animal's access. "It could look like building a fence - or getting different landscape or remove foliage the pigs are going after," he said.

If wildlife becomes a bigger issue, residents are urged to visit the Department of Fish and Wildlife website to fill out a Wildlife Incident Report. Staff will reach out to residents and go over options.

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