Nature NotesBy Dr. Robert R. Blease DVM
Helpful Hints and Interesting Tidbits
How to Deal with Injured or Orphaned Wildlife.
Almost all of us have, at one time or another, come across young or injured wildlife, alone and presumably deserted. But, young birds
The best thing for baby mammals, as for baby birds, is DO NOT TOUCH! They should be left where they were found. Many adult mammals leave their young for extended periods of time. The parents are simply waiting for the human to leave!
Injured or diseased mammals can behave unpredictably, and stress can make them more defensive. In addition, some may carry RABIES! NEVER place yourself in a position where you could become scratched or bitten! If this should occur, contact your Doctor immediately!
Both federal and state permits are legally required for those who handle wildlife!!!
Occasionally, wildlife rehabilitation centers with appropriate legal permits will take wildlife. To contact one near you, call the Animal Control Officer for your township.
Saving Orphaned and Injured Wildlife
New Jersey is home to a great variety of wildlife. Raccoons, opossums, squirrels, woodchuck, fox, deer, hawks, owls and songbirds can be seen throughout our state. These animals live in the forests, along rivers and streams, in parks and even in our backyards. With our ever-expanding development, wild animals are left with less and less habitat and are coming into increasing contact with humans. While some people take delight in seeing the variety of animals, there are many who consider wild animals in their backyard to be a nuisance. People often resort to removal methods that are not only harmful to the
DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS
Although many people think they are helping animals by feeding them, the opposite is usually true. Feeding encourages wild animals (i) to become dependent on handouts which are not part of their normal diet, (ii) to lose
If you feed birds, place feeders where they will not attract other animals and make sure the area beneath the feeders is cleaned of debris, spilled seeds
Do not offer wildlife the bounty of your garbage. Use sturdy trash cans with secure lids. Thoroughly rinse bottles and cans for recycling. Put food scraps in closed bins instead of open compost piles.
To avoid attracting raccoons and opossums, do not feed your pets outside. If you must put
A garden is a wonderful feeding site for wild animals. Keep your garden enclosed with barriers. Harvest vegetables and fruits as soon as they are ripe.
DO NOT PROVIDE SHELTER FOR WILDLIFE
A building in poor repair is an invitation to wildlife! Animals can squeeze into small spaces, so seal holes and cracks in and around the foundation of your house. Check under the eaves,
Prevent entry through chimneys by capping them with vents or by installing screens. Keep dampers closed whenever the fireplace is not in use.
Outdoors, prune branches that overhang your house and are easy routes to the roof and windows. To prevent animals from climbing trees, remove lower branches and wrap metal cylinders or specially-designed cones around the trunk at least three feet off the ground. Remove brush piles from your yard and store wood off the ground.
Deny easy access into buildings by weatherstripping around doors and windows. If you install a cat or dog door, use one that is opened by an electronic signal from your pet’s collar.
SOLVING EXISTING PROBLEMS
If wild animals have taken up residence in or under your house, wait until they have vacated the building, then take steps to exclude them. Assume that there are babies present in the spring, summer and early fall and be careful not to separate the parents from the young. Be patient, and if at all possible, wait until the family is old enough to move out.
If you do not want to wait for the animals to leave on their own, make their surroundings uninviting. Turn on a bright light, leave a loud radio on continuously near their den. Many animals are sensitive to smell and can be deterred by placing rags soaked in household ammonia in a bucket or dish near their den.
If babies are not present, you can exclude adults while they are outside the house. Nocturnal animals such as bats should be closed out at night while they are active. Squirrels can be closed out during the day. Set up a one-way door or stretch a piece of plastic across the entrance. Be extremely careful not to trap infants inside. Wild baby animals will not be able to use the
Outdoors, use visual repellents such as mirrors, flags, and strips of metallic tape. Scent deterrents must be reapplied after rain.
NOT RECOMMENDED OR ALLOWED: TRAPPING & RELOCATING WILDLIFE
Trapping and relocating wildlife
PREVENT RECURRING PROBLEMS
Once the animals have left, be sure not to invite others to take their place. Have you removed all food and water sources? Have you closed off all available shelter sites? Take the precautions outlined in this pamphlet to prevent potential problems.
Respect and enjoy the wildlife that lives around you. Saving Orphaned and Injured Wildlife Article was taken