More wild animals roam cities in Latvia

Wild animals can be seen more and more frequently in the cities of Latvia. Experts say it is no surprise - the conditions are favorable for wildlife, reported Vidzeme Television on August 11.

Wild animals are adapting to man and are more comfortable getting food in populated areas - consequently, the favorable conditions also mean higher populations of roe deer, foxes, hares and other animals.

The presence of animals in the city does not immediately mean that it is "green", said Janis Rozītis, representative of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). He explained that animals in the urban environment go looking for food or habitat: "Animals often feel safer in the urban environment than in the forest environment because they gradually adapt. Although there are noises, an unnatural environment, at the same time it is safe because there is no hunting and people are relatively peaceful."

The State Forest Service (VMD) said that individual animal species are breeding under the influence of good weather conditions. If there are severe winters with deep snow, for example, the weaker deer tend to die, unable to find food.

The Food and Veterinary Service (PVD) mentioned that people in the city were creating favorable conditions for visits by forest animals. “People do a lot to attract a fox coming to the city. Why is that fox coming? It's coming to eat,” said Marcis Ulmanis, head of the PVD department of the North Vidzeme.

There is a version that deforestation and urbanization are contributing to wildlife visitations, but some experts say that this is not a major reason for these guests.

“It is certainly a global problem that is not a recent thing. But as much as we try to manage landscape, cut forests and deal with agriculture, those are not fundamental changes for animals to seek shelter in the city,” said the WWF spokesman Rozītis.

According to experts, it was clear that the presence of forest animals will persist, making it important not to encourage them to enter cities and to dispose of food appropriately.

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