Don’t Trap & Relocate Wildlife

Two raccoons (Procyon lotor) look out from the safety of a tree.
Photo by Jorge Figueiredo / Getty Images

Throughout the next few months, wild animals, including squirrels, skunks, and raccoons, will pass through our yards, searching for food and temporary shelter. Generally, wild animals are transient, just be patient. If you give them lots of space, they will typically relocate themselves after a few weeks.

To avoid prolonged stays, do not feed them. It’s also important to remove other sources of food including birdseed, outdoor pet food, and to secure garbage and compost. Once all the animals have vacated, seal off any entry points to prevent future access.

Credit: BCSPCA / AnimalKind

Live trapping is not a solution

Some people may choose to live trap and relocate raccoons or other wildlife as they believe it’s a more humane alternative to lethal methods. While live trapping can offer a humane solution, it should only be done if absolutely necessary and by a certified professional as there are several precautions that need to be taken to ensure the welfare of live trapped animals.

For example, when confined, wild animals can become easily stressed or agitated. They may start to repetitively paw at the bars, breaking their nails or tearing the pads of their feet. Some animals may also break their teeth or rub the skin off their nose across the bars trying to escape. Additionally, animals in live traps can suffer quickly from dehydration and exposure to extreme weather temperatures. Live traps should never be left unattended and require regular monitoring.

It’s also important to consider, especially in the spring, that many animals are living in family groups. Trapping and removing individuals can separate parents from their babies, leaving the kits to starve. Relocating an animal from their home territory can also put them at risk of injury or death, and creates competition and stress for existing wild residents when a newcomer is introduced.

Instead of live trapping, focus on wildlife-proofing your property and implementing deterrents to encourage wild animals to leave on their own.

More Resources

Any company can call themselves “humane”, so how do you choose an ethical wildlife control company?

For a list of best practices and AnimalKind accredited wildlife control companies, visit AnimalKind’s website by clicking here.

Help Make A Difference

Join The Fur-Bearers today and help us protect fur-bearing animals in the wild and confinement. To become a monthly donor (for as little as $10/month – the cost of two lattes) please click here and help us save lives today. Your donation is tax-deductible.


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