High Waters Send Wildlife to Higher Ground

Residents seeing snakes, turtles, frogs and more where they usually don't

The recent rains and high water isn't just impacting lakes and rivers and people's yards.

The water is also driving animals out from their normal habitats and into public view.

They can be creepy and crawly, either way they're seeking higher ground.

"With all the rain we notice a lot of animals are trying to get to dryer ground," said Michael Perez, Natural Scientist Coordinator for the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge.

Just a few feet from where NBC 5 interviewed Perez at the nature center, there was a perfect example of how wildlife are trying to survive the high water. On the swollen banks of the Trinity River, an island of fire ants was on the move.

"They’re basically sitting on vegetation that’s been knocked down through the running water and they’re using that vegetation as a dry ground," Perez said.

The ants aren’t the only ones being displaced.

In Little Elm, NBC 5's Brian Scott found what appears to be a Texas Rat Snake hanging out near the women’s restroom at a park.

"They’re losing their places where they normally hunt," explained Perez.

At the nature center, you typically see turtles in the Trinity and along it's banks, but NBC 5 photojournalist Jose Sanchez found what appears to be a common snapping turtle in the middle of the roadway in Benbrook on Thursday.

Viewer Harmonie Farrow sent NBCDFW a video of a fox in her backyard near Lake Grapevine.

On Wednesday, in Rocky Creek Park near Benbrook Lake, we found a feral hog foraging for food in a parking lot, completely unafraid of vehicles and humans.

Perez doubts the hog's actions were water-related, but rather because they're getting more accustomed to seeing and interacting with humans.

But when you any kind of wildlife, Perez says it's best to leave it alone.

"Keep your distance, let them come up and seek that dryer land and let the rivers go back to their normal levels," Perez said.

An animal Perez believes people will see more of is frogs. They feed on earthworms and other small insects, which are now showing themselves in gardens and yards across the area.

Perez says the high water may disrupt the wildlife for now, but when the waters recede things will go back to normal.

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