How to Handle Wildlife this Spring

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Marshfield, WI (OnFocus) The arrival of spring means wild animals are beginning to emerge from their winter hideouts.

“One of biggest issues in the spring is the emergence of once dormant animals. Hibernating animals are out in force looking for food,” said Ordinance Officer Bob Larsen. “They become somewhat of a ‘nuisance’ because they will do anything for food: raid garbage, eat in abundance bird seed, damage feeders and the like.”

These animals include but are not limited to small animals like skunks, raccoons, and opossums.

Though it’s natural to want to assist animals, especially baby wildlife that appear to be abandoned, Larsen noted that it’s best to leave them alone. Interfering can break up a wildlife family, spread harmful diseases or parasites to household pets, or harm the animal by feeding it food that’s not good for it.

“Animals that appear to be abandoned are not truly abandoned. They are strategically placed where they are by their mother. The biggest offender of this alleged abandonment is the White Tailed Deer,” Larsen said.

Does will leave a fawn in a safe place for most of the day, an action which actually protects their young. Prey are unable to scent them unless a person drops by the fawn’s hideout or removes it, almost ensuring the death of the fawn.

“Leave all baby wildlife where they are unless you see them in areas that are obviously a danger to them,” said Larsen. “If you come across a situation like this, then call the Wood County Dispatch Center to have an Ordinance Officer go to the location and assess it.”

Ordinance assists with wild animal situations by setting traps and relocating animals to a safe place, working hand in hand the DNR, USDA and the REGI (Raptor Education Group Inc.).

“If you find a situation that needs our attention, be it an injured animal or a nuisance situation, call Ordinance and we will again assess the situation and handle it appropriately,” said Larsen.

Wood County Dispatch Center can be reached at (715) 421-8700.