The Arizona Game and Fish Department is reminding area residents to be aware that Halloween pumpkins and other fall decorations can attract wildlife when displayed outdoors. For hungry wildlife, a carved pumpkin is an easy meal, said AZGFD.
AZGFD recommends that jack-o-lanterns, uncarved pumpkins and cornucopias be displayed indoors on window sills so they can be seen from outside if desired, and discarded securely to help prevent encounters with foraging wildlife.
“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.”
Additionally, unintentional or intentional feeding can cause problems for wildlife, such as obesity and malnutrition, and promote the spread of disease, said AZGFD. For tips on minimizing conflicts with wildlife, see www.azgfd.gov/urbanwildlife