Wildlife Concerns

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We share our municipality with a wide variety of animals that have adapted to our changing rural and urban environment. When food and shelter are plentiful, and natural predators are limited, wildlife often choose to live near us. Removing sources of food, water, and shelter on our properties can minimize the potential for problems. If we learn to share the environment with wildlife we may find that these visitors can entertain us as they make their way to a more suitable home. 

The Municipality does not provide a service to deal with, or remove, nuisance or injured wildlife on private property. Calling Police about non-emergency wildlife issues can take them away from dealing with other important emergencies. We have provided  information below to assist you in diagnosing the best way to handle wildlife issues that may be affecting you or your property. 

 Wildlife Issues
  • If you are in immediate danger, or if the animal is aggressive and may injure someone, call the Police at 911; Protection of public health and safety is a priority
  • If you have been bitten, or had direct contact with a wild animal, seek medical attention and report it to Huron Perth Public Health at 1-844-935-1327. Any human contact with an animal with rabies, dead or alive, should be reported to Huron Perth Public Health at 1-844-935-1327 as soon as possible. For more information see the Huron Perth Public Health website on Rabies and Animal Bites.
  • If your pet or livestock have been bitten, or had direct contact with a wild animal, contact your vet.
  • If your domestic animal has been in contact with a raccoon, skunk, fox or bat that you suspect has rabies, contact OMAFRA (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs) at 1-877-424-1300.
  • If a wild animal has been in contact with a raccoon, skunk, fox, or bat that you suspect has rabies, contact the MNR (Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry) at 1-888-574-6656. 
  • If you wake and find a bat in your bedroom or sleeping area, or if your pet is playing with a bat, call Huron Perth Public Health as soon as possible.
  • Wildlife issues on private property are the responsibility of the landowner. Landowners can call pest control or animal control companies to remove wildlife from their properties. 
 Raccoons and Skunks

When we see raccoons and skunks near our homes, especially during the day, we can quickly become concerned. It is not necessary to become overly concerned with wild animals we see out during the day. Here are some tips to understand their behaviour so you can know what to report. 

  • Never approach wildlife. Keep children and pets away from all wildlife. 
  • While raccoons and skunks are primarily nocturnal (they are awake at night and sleep during the day) they are often seen out during the day in the spring. During the day babies are usually sleeping and this gives mother raccoons and skunks a chance to look for food. 
  • Raccoons and skunks usually hibernate and sleep for the winter months. If we see them out during the day in the spring they may simply be groggy and disoriented as they wake from hibernation
  • When we have warm and mild winters, old or infirm animals are more likely to survive and we may see more unhealthy animals in the spring
  • Be careful around any animal that is circling, somersaulting, dragging its back end, or has discharge from its eyes or nose. These symptoms can mean the animal is suffering head trauma from being hit by a car, distemper, or rabies. Rabies can only be positively diagnosed by testing the brain of the animal. 
  • If you are having an ongoing problem with raccoons, skunks, or other wildlife, remove sources of food, water and shelter on your property. 
  • If you have been bitten, or had direct contact with a wild animal, seek medical attention and report it to Huron Perth Public Health at 1-844-935-1327. Any human contact with an animal with rabies, dead or alive, should be reported to Huron Perth Public Health at 1-844-935-1327 as soon as possible. For more information see the Huron Perth Public Health website on Rabies and Animal Bites.
  • If your domestic animal has been in contact with a raccoon, skunk, fox or bat that you suspect has rabies, contact OMAFRA (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs) at 1-877-424-1300.
  • If a wild animal has been in contact with a raccoon, skunk, fox, or bat that you suspect has rabies, contact the MNR (Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry) at 1-888-574-6656. 
 Birds

Baby birds "fledge" the nest in the spring and spend time on the ground, the mother bird is usually close by watching and feeding them. It is a myth that birds reject their babies if touched by a person, however it is recommended to not touch or move baby birds so that the mother does not lose track of the baby bird's location.  

Baby birds, or fledglings, have a downy, ruffled appearance on their body with some adult looking feathers on their wings. 

 Rabbits

Mother rabbits only nurse their babies once or twice a day, usually at dawn and dusk. Mothers run over the nest, nurse the babies and then run off. These behaviours help to protect both mother and babies from predators.  

Rabbit nests are commonly in short grass, like your lawn. Check before you mow.  

Baby rabbits are independent at approximately 3 weeks of age. If you see a baby rabbit hopping around, even if they are very small, they are okay. Let them be. 

 Turtles

When turtles lay their eggs, they return to where they hatched. Turtles carry bacteria. If you handle a turtle, wash your hands. 

If you must move a turtle, always move it in the direction it is heading, they are heading that way for a reason if you change that path they will just turn around and go back. 

Snapping turtles are aggressive and are capable of serious injury. Snapping turtles have long necks and can reach around to their tails; be careful, they can bite you quickly! Do not pick up a snapping turtle. If you need to move one use extreme caution, keeping fingers and toes away from its mouth, use an object with a long handle to push it along. 

Contact(s)

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© 2018 The Municipality of South Huron, 322 Main Street South P.O. Box 759 Exeter, ON N0M 1S6