Burrowing owls aren't the only critters to call Cape Coral home
Burrowing owls have been center stage in Cape Coral for a while now, and deservedly so, but you might be interested in learning what kinds of mammal and reptile life also inhabit the Cape.
1. At the top of the food chain would be predatory carnivores like panthers, bears, crocodiles and alligators. Though prevalent in Florida, the first three are rarely seen on the Cape. “Rarely” is not synonymous with “never,” however.
2. Quoting Wildlife Whisperer, a wildlife management professional and IWRC-certified wildlife rehabilitator in Cape Coral: “…black bears are common in Lee County, particularly in the lower 2/3 of the county. They are occasionally spotted in Cape Coral residential areas, and one was spotted a few years ago hanging out on a dock and taking a swim.”
3. Alligators, on the other hand, seem to inhabit every body of water deep enough to contain them. Indeed, “…Cape Coral,” says wildlife whisperer, Ned Bruha, “with its many waterways, gives an alligator plenty of places to call home.”
4. Other Cape residents and visitors among the mammal and reptile species are armadillos, bats, bobcats and coyotes, feral cats, foxes and flying squirrels, lizards, mice and opossums, rabbits, raccoons and rats, skunks, snakes and squirrels, and wild boar. All of these animals exhibit intelligent behavior, but the smartest of them all, says Bruha, are rats.
5. Two resident reptiles, iguanas and Nile monitors, are not native to the area, but have become naturalized citizens, so to speak. Bruha says, “The Nile monitor population has recently exploded in Cape Coral. The canals and sea walls there provide them with the perfect place to swim, hunt and dig burrows.” Also, iguanas’ “behavior and rapid population growth has become a real problem…” says Bruha. These ill-behaved reptiles will, among other things, claw up your expensive landscaping, leave foul-smelling poop on your lanai, and steal the burrows of our darling burrowing owls.
Some of these animals can be safely shooed away, but others cannot. Visit the Wildlife Whisperer website at htttps://totalwildlifecontrol.com to learn how best to live with them because, says Bruha, “In Florida, co-existence is not a preferred option, it is the only option.”
Cynthia Williams (email@example.com)