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No one thinks of alligators when they think of a city dwelling animal. In Miami, Florida, however, diners at riverside restaurant terraces are warned away from the riverbanks with yellow police tape—a reminder that alligators like to dine, too! Indian cobras are regularly found skulking through market bazaars in India, and polar bears invite themselves into houses in Churchill, Manitoba when they migrate through that city. Fortunately, most wild city animals are not so dangerous to us; we all enjoy the birds, squirrels, deer, and rabbits that we sometimes see. And we have learned to put up with the pesky skunks, lizards, and insects that sometimes cause us trouble!


Life in a city can present special challenges for animals. Peregrine falcons are accustomed to perching up high on the edges of tall canyons, ready to dive on unsuspecting prey below. In a city, these birds perch on top of skyscrapers to drop down on unwary pigeons. If you live in coyote country, dont leave your small pet outside at night with the pet food. Any animal that is small is fair game to the coyote


As long as there has been civilization, there have been animals following after city life. When the first colonists planted their plots of grain and corn, hundreds of thousands of gray squirrels left the forests and devoured the new crops. Today, raccoons will raid your trash cans, and so will opossums. Insects and mice thrive on human garbage, while skunks, fortunately for us, live primarily on the insects.


If you are lucky, you may have seen birds nesting in unusual places—even inside traffic lights. Some birds choose skyscraper windows or the corners of patio covers. Some storks in Europe regularly build their nests over the tops of chimneys!


Look around: there are wild creatures everywhere. In your garage you can find spiders, lizards, and maybe an occasional mouse. On your high-rise terrace, you will see a wide variety of birds. Backyards can be a stopping place for owls, bats, squirrels, butterflies, rabbits—even deer. If you pay a visit to your citys edge, you may see a still wider variety of animals, including coyotes, bobcats, elk, and even bears. We are surrounded by interesting creatures!

Survival Status

Green Light. City animals are perhaps better off than any other type of animal. They have already adapted to living among humans, so there is no danger of their losing their habitat. As long as there are cities, there will be city animals.