Worst Drought On Record Affects Animals Both Wild And Tame

Knoxville (AP) -- The combination of a late freeze and the worst drought on record is affecting livestock and wild animals across the state. It also could prompt the governor to ask for emergency farm relief for the second time this year.

Farmers already will receive federal assistance for the loss of crops from the late freeze in April. Now, the scarcity of rain is hurting other crops as well as livestock, which are facing feed shortages.

The drought and freeze also are affecting wild animals, which are having to travel to search for food and water, bringing them in contact with humans more often. That means deer in the roads and mice in homes.

In the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, surveys scheduled for later this year should show how the wildlife there is handling the conditions.

(Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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