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Help keep wild families together

For wild animals, spring and summer mean one thing: baby season! Everywhere you look, sparrows, swallows, hummingbirds, eagles, skunks, squirrels, opossums and raccoons are starting families and raising young. Whether we live in the forests, by the ocean, or in the middle of town, wild parents-to-be, in need of security and privacy, seek shelter to make dens and nests. Sometimes this shelter ends up being in our homes — for many reasons this might not be the best situation.

Whether it’s raccoons under the house, birds nesting in vents, skunks under the porch, mallards in your backyard, you might face these beautiful, mysterious and unfortunately unwelcome guests. If so, Humboldt Wildlife Care Center’s Humane Solutions Service can help. Our experienced wildlife staff provide effective solutions without trapping and killing.

Live traps, which manufacturers such as Havahart claim are humane, are not humane at all. We’ve seen a raccoon mother gnaw at a trap until her teeth were broken off at her gums trying to get back to her den and her little ones. Every year, countless times, wild mothers are trapped. Whether she is killed, “relocated” or severely injured trying to get to her babies, she doesn’t make it back to her den and her helpless young are orphaned. These babies die alone, or if lucky they’re found and brought to a facility such as ours. We strive hard to provide good care and to keep wild babies wild, but no person can raise wild babies the way their parents can.

Not only is trapping cruel, California requires a permit from the Department of Fish and Wildlife to use these traps. Written permission from all neighbors within 150 yards of the trap site is also required. Many people are not aware that relocation is illegal, and worse, usually fatal. Consider how you would respond if you were trapped and taken far from your home and released to fend for yourself in a community where you don’t know anyone. The law is simple: once an animal is trapped, that animal is to be released on site or killed.

Beside its moral repugnance, killing one animal merely opens space for another wild animal to move in. The reasons for the animal’s presence, such as pet food, unsecured garbage, even koi ponds and other attractants have not been addressed. And if this is a den site, orphaned babies are left in the destructive wake.

Quite simply, trapping is not the solution!

If you have a conflict with a wild animal, please, don’t take matters into your own hands. There are too many ways it can go wrong. Call professionals who are committed to humane resolutions. Humboldt Wildlife Care Center’s Humane Solutions Service 707-822-8839 can safely solve your dilemma and keep wild families together.

Humboldt Wildlife Care Center serves Del Norte county. We are the only permitted, all-species, wild rescue organization in Del Norte, Humboldt and Trinity counties. We admit many wild animals each week from Del Norte, especially Crescent City.

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