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Veterinary Surgery Clinic Discusses Nuisance Wildlife
Land owners are responsible for managing unwanted wildlife on their properties, including any costs. Property owners can remove the unwanted wildlife themselves or use the services of a wildlife control agent. Our veterinary surgery clinic knows that the preferred option is always to address the reason wildlife is attracted to your property instead of relocating or humanely killing the animal. New animals will continue to arrive if there is shelter, food, or some other feature attracting them.
Sick, Injured or Orphaned Wildlife
You should avoid handling wildlife to protect the health and wellbeing of both the wildlife and yourself. When an inexperienced person attempts to handle wild animals, bites and scratches are common, and many species of wildlife can carry diseases or parasites that are harmful to humans. Every year many well-intentioned people needlessly remove young wildlife from a healthy, natural life in the wild. People who see young wildlife alone often think these animals are sick, injured or orphaned but that is usually not the case. The best approach is always to leave a young animal or baby bird alone unless you are sure it has been abandoned. To determine if young wildlife is truly orphaned:
- Check the animal periodically for 24 to 48 hours to see if it is still there, but keep your distance to make sure you are not scaring off the parent.
- Keep the area quiet and free of cats and dogs. The adult will not return if it is noisy or if predators or people are nearby.
- Observe the animal to see if it is well nourished and active. The animal probably is not an orphan if it is healthy and well fed.
If you find an orphaned animal, contact your local animal control office for advice. A person cannot keep wildlife without approval. There are exceptions for up to 24 hours to transport sick or injured wildlife to a custodian or to transport a nuisance animal for release. Otherwise, it is an offense to keep a wild animal. It could endanger you and your family by exposing you to diseases such as rabies.