Danger is Lurking – Part Two

Hello everyone. Last month I covered this topic. But there was so much we decided to do it in two parts. There are so many dangers lurking out there putting it all into one article is impossible. Welcome to Part Two.

Glue traps.

Recently another wildlife rehabilitation facility took in a snake stuck to a glue trap. Stuck hard. They carefully and gently were able to get him loose. Glue traps are not humane in any way shape or form to any life. They are inhumane. And should be banned. Please, DO NOT BUY them. They kill or mame whatever comes in contact with them. It’s horrible for these animals to be stuck fast, to struggle for their life, injuring themselves, starving to death if not found. And dying slowly and terribly. Remember these traps do not kill. They just trap whatever goes in, it’s stuck fast, it can not get out, it’s terrifying and cruel.

Glue strips.

Sticky strips used to catch flies. Depending on where you put these they can also catch other things. Small birds, butterflies, bees, moths, bats. Anything that flies near it can get caught. Being trapped, helplessly. Tearing out feathers, wings, whole bodies, stuck. Dying horrible terrifying slow deaths.

The Healthy Hearts and Paws Project
A milk snake was freed from a glue trap using Dawn, vegetable oil, and scissors .

Ropes in trees

These we see at our campgrounds. Laundry lines by your tent or trailer. When you leave please take these down. Leaving them up can become a deadly item. Owls fly at night, and can get caught. Bats, and birds during the day, animals who climb in trees, romping and playing little wildlife babies learning and just having fun. Depending on height. Animals who may pass through there at night could get seriously hurt, especially if they are on the run. Which they could very well be in a campground.

Leave no footprints.

Leave NO human footprints behind. Clean everything up. Remember, this is their habitat you are renting.

A suggestion was sent to us last month re: fire pits. Making certain you have a grate sitting on top of the ground in your pit could stop animals such as bunnies from nesting there. It would however need to be on the ground because if not, animals can still get under there. Thank you reader, for that tip.

Again a reminder to clean jars and put lids back on to keep wildlife safe in our recycling.

They have keen noses and while on her way to work, our animal care coordinator Crystal saw a young skunk with a drinking cup on its head.

It was trapped. Luckily she was able to stop quickly and assist the poor thing and free its head. Off it ran. Very lucky skunk.

 And also again,  I’m asking. Please keep cats indoors. Or build them a cat condo outdoors attached to your home. Make sure there are no openings in the condo so nothing else can get inside.

I personally have lost so many wildlife babies and small animals due to cats this season alone. I have talked and talked to these people.

Oh it’s normal they say. NO, it’s not normal.

Cats kill for fun, not to survive. Even ferals are very well fed. Although some haven’t found those feeding stations yet. Those that have know where to get food. But these cats I’m dealing with and many others are owned and well fed. Now they have attracted other cats here, I have not had a problem for years.

New people, don’t care. It’s not the cat’s fault, it is the owner’s fault. But unfortunately, it’s the cats that pay the price. I had a chipmunk die en route to Procyon. Others died in my hands. I just brought the most recent one home for release. She almost died upon arrival at the centre. So traumatized and injured. Thankfully, Crystal is well trained and acted fast to save her little life. And she survived. She is now running free in my yard again. She is very leery which I’m happy about. It gives her a better chance at survival.

Fingers crossed she survives a good life. We have had three cats over 30 years. All indoor cats,  one a rescue from a bad situation left to fend for herself outside with winter approaching. Tiny, helpless. Just a tiny kitten, so we thought. Turned out to be a breed called, munchkin, she was 7 months old. We were able to catch her and took her to our vet. We ended up keeping her. She was absolutely amazing, affectionate, and adorable. And never tried to run away out the door. Give life a chance. Keep them inside.

In my neighborhood so many cats have been reported missing, never returning home. People have been setting illegal snare traps, and poisons. It’s a cruel world. We live amongst coyotes. They don’t know it’s a pet. They are only trying to survive.

Help to avoid predation to your birdhouses.

Cats, raccoons, and squirrels can raid a birdhouse with little ones inside. Or mom sitting on her eggs. You can actually prevent this if your box is in a location where this can happen. First, you can wrap a metal sheet around your post or tree to stop them from climbing and gaining access. Of course this would be as long as there is no access from other trees available.

You can also build a screen box to attach to the outside of the birdhouse entrance. Make it a couple inches or more in length and make it so birds can enter right into their hole. Diameter depending on bird species of course. The predators can’t reach inside.

Always handle wildlife with gloves and masks if possible. Use hand sanitizer if you can’t wear gloves, and even if you do. Most of us carry that now. There are so many wildlife diseases out there now we must be careful. And always get that animal or bird to a rehabilitation centre. Do not do it yourself. Safety is important. Keep a rescue kit in your car. Just in case.

  1. Rubbermaid tote : medium in size and a small one tucked inside. ( drill small holes around the top and in the lid)
  2. Towel
  3. Rubber gloves and a pair of work gloves.
  4. Masks
  5. Hand sanitizer
  6. Book & pen or pencil. (to write down location and what happened, keep our number and address in there too: 905-729-0033. 6441 7th line, Beeton, Ontario.
  7. Flashlight
  8. Safety vest

Always call us first , never bring an animal in unexpectedly.

This month has brought a lot of wildlife into our centre. We have not had a break all season. Distemper in raccoons has been horrible. Young and old alike. If a raccoon has porcupine quills  in its face you can be guaranteed it has distemper, unfortunately. A healthy animal knows not to get close to a porcupine. It’s very sad.

There are a few new wildlife diseases on the horizon that we are watching out for and need to be prepared for. I will touch base on those next month for you. Meanwhile, wear masks and gloves when handling wildlife, and do not take them into your homes or around your pets. Leave the rehabbing to us.

Jen Howard

Procyon Wildlife Volunteer/ Photographer

Here are some helpful pics and posters to help us take better care of our natural environment and the wildlife that live in it. HELP is in YOUR HANDS… it’s ALL OUR HANDS.

The earth is my home too.
Danger is Lurking – Part Two
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