By Robin Perlstein
Throughout September, La Cañada has been experiencing a record-high heat wave with temperatures as high as 105 degrees. The awful heat has caused much discomfort and annoyance for Southern Californians, not to mention several power outages and fires. No one, however, expected the effect the heat would have on the surrounding wildlife.
On September 15th, during a power outage that lasted several hours, several bears and a mountain lion were spotted hunting for food and water in neighborhoods near Palm Drive, Bonita Vista, Inverness, and Chevy Chase. The bears scavenged through several people’s trash cans but were never captured by animal control. A second incident occurred on September 21st when a 70-pound snapping turtle was found near the La Cañada Country Club on Angeles Crest Highway. Snapping turtles are not native to the area, so many people wondered where it came from. The turtle was rescued and taken to the Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary in Phelan. When it was rescued, the turtle was observed to be obese and seemed to have eaten a variety of unhealthy, human foods while it was lost. The heat has been causing harm not only to human residents of La Cañada, but also to the local wildlife.
If residents encounter any wild animals, they are advised not to get near them because it is important to remember that they are dangerous. If you spot an animal in your yard, immediately call Animal Control, get inside, and give it as much space as possible. The animals do not have the intention of hurting you, but rather are looking for food or shelter from the heat. However, if you get in their way or disturb them, they may get frightened and injure you in self-defense.
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