Videographer: Brian Whitesell
Lynchburg, VA - This is the busiest time of year for Animal Control. Lynchburg's got foxes, coyotes, possum and deer. Hot days like Thursday force these animals out at night more than ever.
Animal control wardens stay very busy but also set limits. They do not trap every wild animal people have in their backyard because sometimes, there are simple steps you can take to get the wild animal out.
Tremaine Rainey had a close call with an unusual critter.
"The albino skunk - it came out of the bushes like right here. It came out of the bushes in front of me and raised its tail up," said Rainey.
Now, if you doubt Rainey's story, Vernon Rivers can verify it. He's seen the white skunk too.
"He'll harass you, try to come up on you, try to sneak up on you in the dark," said Rivers.
"Lynchburg is kind of a city in the woods. We live so close to where these animals live, you are going to run in to issues with them," said Chief Todd Jones.
In the dead of summer, wild animals are trying to stay alive. They scour for food and wait for just the right time at night.
"They don't move when it's very hot because they have to exert a lot of energy. They save that up and do it when it's cooler," said Jones.
Trapping wild animals is dangerous work. So if you have one in your yard, step one is not calling the city but hiding all food. Step two is closing the den the animal dug so it gets the hint.
"In most cases, if you give them their room and their space and let them get on out of there-and not feed them or anything like that- there shouldn't be too many problems," said Jones.
A wild animal around your home is frustrating. But some say, remember - they were here first.
"People are going in and cutting down trees in their habitat, so they're looking for somewhere else to live. It's not their fault," said Rainey.
Of course, be careful if you have a wild animal around your home. Rabies is always a concern. It's very dangerous, even deadly. And, it's impossible to know if an animal has rabies unless it's tested.