» Download Audio
Wildlife Woes IN the Drought
In the western United States, authorities have been struggling with record drought and heat. Well now they're also confronting drought related problems facing wildlife. Kimberly has more from
The sound of flowing water, one not often heard these days since the precious commodity is becoming more scarce.
JEFF BUTLER, COLORADO DIVISION OF WILDLIFE
We keep up with no rain and the heat and what not, there's going to be all sorts of problems.
Creating a trickle-down effect throughout the entire food chain.
We're running into problems with our fish and wildlife, both.
No rain means grass can't grow, animals can't feed, sending some foraging for food anyway they can.
They use their noses, and they can smell people food.
Elk, deer and of course bear are known to bulk up in the summer, building a layer of fat to keep them alive throughout winter. But these days scant food is sending some inland, threatening people.
Once we get a bear that is causing a problem and we ear-tag him and move him, if he comes back he's a dead bear.
And the heat is creating troubled waters for fish as well.
A LITTLE BOY
The big fish likes to live in deep water, so most of them the pelicans are getting them because they have to go to shallow water.
Getting trapped there. The problem is so bad that for the first time some wildlife officials now have full power to close lakes and streams to fisherman. In one extreme case, an entire reservoir full of trout will be drained to help supply a larger reservoir.
JAE TORNQUIST, FISHERMAN
I feel bad, I feel sad. And everybody I've talked to is upset. Everybody is upset about it. Especially all the fisherman.
And the heat keeps coming.
I think we'd better do some praying.