Wildlife Tips from the
Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre
for safe, effective solutions
April 2006 - Every year, thousands of orphaned baby animals are left to die
when people trap and relocate a nursing mother, block her access to
an attic or soffit or remove her babies in the hope that she will
take them some place else.
The spring is a challenging time for a mother - cold, rain, high
winds and predators force females to seek out shelter in attics,
soffits, chimneys and under steps as a safe spot to have their young
when the newborn babies are most vulnerable.
Remember, the good news is that it is a TEMPORARY situation. The
safest and most humane option during the birthing season from April
to July is to give a brief grace period until the babies are weaned
and coming out with mother which is when the family will move to a
natural area. You can then undertake the necessary animal-proofing.
It is also in a homeowner's best interest to resist taking
wildlife problems into their own hands as abandoned hungry babies in
an attic are often in inaccessible areas and can fall between walls,
requiring expensive drywall removal or, if they are under steps, die
and create bad and long-lasting smells.
Never risk barricading an animal as they can cause damage in
trying to get back to their young or in trying to escape. Do not
smoke an animal out of a chimney. Babies would not be able to escape
and you could cause a chimney fire.
Even wildlife removal companies that say they offer a humane
service can give you no guarantee they won't end up creating orphans
and, with limited help for wildlife, it is wise not to take this
risk. Besides, it is illegal under the Ontario Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Act to relocate any wild animal beyond 1 kilometer from
where it was found which makes trapping quite pointless.
Research all your options before taking action. An ounce of
prevention is worth a pound of cure. Keep this website -
www.wildlifeproblems.ncf.ca - handy for all your wildlife
concerns or questions throughout the season.