Transporting a Wild Animal Safely

By Jen Howard

Read Time: Approx. 5 minutes.

Since Procyon Wildlife is admitting new animals every day, we would like to discuss transporting animals safely. One can never be too careful in securing a wild animal for transport to ensure the safety of the animal and the driver.

Before you transport the animal to our facility, call us right away at 905 729 0033 and wait for us to call you back. Please don’t leave multiple messages. We will get back to you and give you confirmation whether we can admit the animal. If it is a true emergency tell us in your message. Otherwise, calls will be answered in the order they come in.

Here are some pointers for you to follow for transporting a wild animal:

  1. For smaller animals, use a box. You need small airholes. If you use any duct tape, depending on the animal you are transporting, put a piece of paper between the box and the tape over any openings, never put tape over an air hole. Note: Bats move around and can get caught against any exposed tape, which will cause significant damage to their delicate wings, etc.
  2. For medium sized animals, use a plastic bin. Make sure it has small air holes drilled all around the bin just under the rim, and a few in the lid. Ensure the holes are not too large so that the animal can escape and are smooth on the inside. Duct tape the lid on 4 sides, being careful to not block the air holes. Some sick or injured animals may be calm going in the box, but in a rush of adrenaline might try to escape so make sure the bin is securely sealed. NOTE: For porcupines never put anything in with them. Their quills will get caught in blankets and will be pulled out, causing extreme pain. Bins are good for them as they are strong and secure with that extra tape in place. And dark and quiet.
  3. For larger animals, use a crate. You can use carabiners or zip ties to make certain that the door is secured.
  4. Strap the box, plastic bin or crate down to ensure it does not shift while you are driving.
  5. If you have received confirmation a wildlife rehab centre will admit the animal, and you are unable to transport the animal yourself, go to the Ontario Wildlife Transport Facebook page. Message them explaining you need a ride, that the animal has been secured and give them the name of the wildlife centre. They will find a ride for you. Keep it warm and calm and out of the sun in a quiet place.
  6. Do not feed. Depending on the animal’s age and size do not put water in with them, as they could drown or get very wet and cold. You will get instructions during the call on what to do. You may do more harm than good if you feed them improper food and we may not be able to undo the damage. Each species has special formulas and feeding protocols.

By taking these extra precautions, you will ensure a comfortable and safe ride for animals who are already stressed due to injury or illness.

As is the case for most years we admit baby raccoons who were needlessly taken from their mother. Our volunteers are working extremely hard to keep all those mouths fed.

So please, do not relocate; let moms move their family on their own. The law against relocating wildlife* is in place for the following reasons:

  1. Orphaning the young.
  2. Moving the animal into another’s territory.
  3. Spreading disease.
  4. Animal has no known shelter, food stash or water source.
  5. 70% of relocated animals suffer or die.  

By following these suggestions, we can work together to keep our wildlife safe and healthy.

Jen Howard

Procyon Wildlife Volunteer/Photographer

*Note from Editor: Please see Jennifer Howard’s article – Tips on How to Encourage Wildlife to move out on their own.

Transporting a Wild Animal Safely
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