UF/IFAS Sarasota County Extension - Nuisance Wildlife
Nuisance wildlife is defined as wildlife that causes (or is about to cause) property damage, presents a threat to public safety, or causes an annoyance in, on, or under a building.
If it is a domestic animal such as a cat, dog, or livestock, you should contact your local county animal control office. For Sarasota County, call (941) 861-9500.
Alligators are considered a nuisance when they are more than four feet in length and are determined to be a threat to the welfare of the public, or the public’s pets, livestock, or property. If you need to report a nuisance alligator, call toll-free, 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286).
If the situation involves a wild animal, such as a raccoon, opossum or snake, the law allows landowners to take nuisance wildlife under certain conditions. You also may give permission to another individual to take nuisance animals for you. Consult the FWC's list of Nuisance Wildlife Trappers that Operate in Your County. Most trappers will charge a fee for their services.
Every bear, bobcat or panther you see should not be considered a nuisance if they are just moving through an area in search of food. Refrain from feeding wildlife in the hope that they will go away if they get what they want -- they won't. They'll want to hang around to see what the next course is going to be -- help keep Florida's wildlife wild by respecting their need to travel and survive in a natural environment. Consider yourself lucky if you see some of Florida's endangered or threatened species --not everyone gets an opportunity to experience seeing a panther or a bear close to home.
For more information, visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Nuisance Wildlife Page.
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