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How to keep Arizona wildlife safe when decorating for Halloween

Posted at 9:16 AM, Oct 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-17 17:51:43-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — When you're decorating for Halloween this month, consider the safety of Arizona wildlife.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department says pumpkins, as well as fall decorations like gourds or squash, attract desert critters when displayed outdoors.

“Javelina, coyotes, deer and even bears eat some of the vegetables that are part of traditional holiday displays,” said Regional Supervisor Raul Vega of Game and Fish in Tucson. “When displayed outdoors, they may attract wildlife to homes, potentially creating conflicts with people.”

AZGFD recommends displaying jack-o-lanterns and cornucopias indoors on window sills.

“Habituating wildlife to a human food source inevitably leads to conflicts with people and can result in serious harm in some cases,” said Urban Wildlife Specialist Locana de Souza of Game and Fish in Tucson. “Furthermore, unintentional or intentional feeding can cause problems for wildlife, such as obesity and malnutrition, and promote the spread of disease.”

For more tips on wildlife-safe decorating, visit