Shorty after my recent RebEarth post on designing the world with animals in mind, I came across the July 2022 edition of National Geographic.  It featured a related article about how animals are adapting to urban life as it is right now. As you might expect, it’s amazing!

So with that article fresh in mind, I thought it would be interesting to highlight NatGeo’s work in this post, then round out the 3-part series next time with ideas on how to aid wildlife around your home.

According to the NatGeo article, wild animal sightings in urban areas have been increasing for a long time and anecdotal evidence points to that accelerating even more in the past decade.

The reason for this is very predictable- habitat loss. When humans cut down the woods, the animals struggle with where to go, and in some cases they’re just staying put and adapting to the new, “humanized” environment the best they can.

I strongly encourage everyone to check out that National Geographic article on your own, but in the meantime, here are some noteworthy items it mentions:

Tahoe bear on a scavenger hunt
(KCRA Channel 3)

Bears Get Fat At Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe, CA has become home to a surprising number of bears despite the resort town’s high population. With food readily available via garbage cans, the bears in this area are thought to weigh about 25% more than their woodland counterparts.


Chicagoland = Coyoteland

Chicago is home to an estimated 4,000 coyotes! Most seem to stay by the lakefront but tracking devices have shown them living in more urban areas as well. Some have shown an ability to check for traffic and adhere to stop light signals while crossing busy streets. And the one pictured here wandered into a Chicago Quiznos in 2007!

(City of Asheville)

More Bears!

Ashville, NC has gotten so comfortable with it’s bear population that a backyard or main street sighting doesn’t cause a stir.  People with pets, on the other hand, are on edge.

For more stories of this and other types, visit and subscribe to Five O’Clock Shadow, an online magazine by Todd Fulginiti