With human sprawl increasing, more human-wildlife conflicts are occurring. With wildlife living in close proximity to us, there is a greater chance to find sick, injured or orphaned wildlife in your own neighbourhoods. So what do you do?
Well there are options available to you and website available to help you figure out what the best steps are.
If you encounter a sick, injured or orphaned animal, it is important not to scare it or make it feel threatened. If possible, contain the animal in a box, cage, container, anything where it can stay safely while you make plans of where to take it. Make sure whatever container you are putting the animal in has air holes so the animal can breathe, but is secure enough it can’t escape. Once the animal is contained, put it in a dark room, so that the animal is not frightened by human activity. DO NOT FEED OR GIVE THE ANIMAL FOOD. Until the health of the animal can be examined, feeding or giving water can cause more damage to the animal.
Your next step is going to be calling a wildlife centre. There are a number of wildlife centres in Ontario that help rescue and rehabilitate injured, sick or orphaned wildlife. These centres are certified wildlife rehabilitation centres and have the sources and staff to take care of these animals. It is important to note that these centres take in a CRAZY number of animals and do the best they can with the funds available, but unfortunately they are not able to help every animal. So please call before taking an injured animal so that they can confirm they have space and resources to take the animal, or can suggest another centre who has the capacity to help the animal.
The following is a small list of wildlife centres that take in sick, injured or orphaned wildlife:
Toronto Wildlife Centre-Takes in all species of animals, has a rescue team when it is unsafe for the public to get an animal and services all of GTA. Check out their website for further information: torontowildlifecentre.com
Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre-Takes in animals throughout all of Ontario. The only turtle focused rehabilitation centre in Ontario. Check out their website for further information: http://kawarthaturtle.org/blog/
Procyon Wildlife-accepts all Ontario mammals. Located in Beeton Ontario. For more information checkout: http://www.procyonwildlife.com/
Salthaven Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Centre-Located just outside of London. Admits all Ontario wildlife. For more information checkout: http://www.salthaven.org/about/
Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary-Serves Ottawa and Ridea Valley. Admits all types of mammals (except bats) and turtles. For more information checkout: http://www.rideauwildlife.org/
The Owl Foundation-Found in the Niagara Regions. Treats injured and sick owls. Check out their website for more information: http://www.theowlfoundation.ca/
Those are just a few that you can contact. Additional wildlife centres can be found at: http://www.ontariowildliferescue.ca/wildlifecentres/
Please do what you can to help our wild neighbours. These centres are important for the future of wildlife and keep our wildlife safe. If you find a sick, injured or orphaned animal, make that important call.
Another thing that you can help wildlife is to use professional pest removal companies if you have a “pest” species on your property or in your house. You will want to find one that will not only remove the animal, but will also prevent them from re-infesting. You also want a wildlife control company that is knowledgeable in animal ecology, and are aware of whether or not the “pest” species will have babies so that you avoid being the reason babies are orphaned.