Arizona Game and Fish Department: Halloween decorations may attract wildlife

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5 file photo) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 file photo)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Those awesomely carved pumpkins on your porch may look more like dinner to some hungry wild animals.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) wants to remind residents that Halloween jack-o-lanterns and decorative squash or gourds can attract wild animals when displayed outside.

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AZGFD recommends that the carved pumpkins and other edible decor should be displayed indoors on window sills, so they can still be seen from outside.

“Pumpkins and other edible decorations are easy meals for wildlife and often attract javelina, coyotes, deer and even bears,” said Mike Demlong, AZGFD Wildlife Education program manager. “Habituating wildlife to human food sources can lead to conflicts, resulting in potentially serious injuries to people or pets and even property damage. That is why it is important to help keep wildlife wild.”

Javelina can be especially dangerous, due to their aggressive nature when it comes to feeling threatened and human intervention. Contact local wildlife control if javelina are becoming troublesome to a community.

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Additionally, unintentional or intentional feeding can cause problems for wildlife, such as obesity and malnutrition, and promote the spread of disease.

The public is reminded that it is illegal under state law (A.R.S. 13-2927) to feed wildlife in Pima, Maricopa and Pinal counties, with the exception of birds as well as tree squirrels, which are rare at lower elevations.

For tips on minimizing conflicts with wildlife, see www.azgfd.gov/urbanwildlife.

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