A walk in the woods is always nice. It's made even nicer if you happen to catch a glimpse of one of the woodland creatures that inhabit Louisiana's forests and marshes. However, with the rising water left behind after Tropical Storm Barry, those encounters with wildlife might not come in some of the wildest locations.

Officials with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries are cautioning residents of the state to be wary of wildlife encounters, especially over the next several weeks while flood waters are receding. Agents say many animals have been forced out of their natural habitat by the rising water and might seek food and shelter in more urbanized areas.

Officials with LDWF offered these tips should you encounter wild animals where you live:

  • Avoid areas where displaced wildlife has taken refuge.
  • Avoid interaction with and do not feed displaced wildlife.
  • Avoid roadways near flooded areas to reduce the likelihood of disturbance and collisions with wildlife.

If you're wondering what kind of animals you might encounter Wildlife and Fisheries Agents suggest that black bears, deer, snakes, feral hogs, and alligators are the most likely. Agents suggest that should you encounter any wildlife in an urban setting you should simply leave it alone. You should not offer the animal food either.

If you're concerned about your safety or the animal's well-being contact local law enforcement or contact the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.