During the summer months, wildlife like squirrels, deer, and opossums are eating, mating, and exploring their environment more than they would be in winter, making human-wildlife contact more likely. Humane Rescue Alliance Wildlife Specialist, Cindy Valasquez, offers some tips to keep the animals safe this summer.
Feeding wildlife not only disturbs their natural diet, it decreases their fear of humans, putting everyone involved in danger.
Discarded food and trash can attract wildlife to a location. Many types of litter and trash can be harmful to animals - discarded gum has been known to kill birds and six-pack rings can entangle animals. To keep litter from harming wildlife:
Cut up plastic six-pack holders and containers before discarding
Pick up and dispose of any fishing line, string, and other pieces of garbage that might entangle wildlife
Don't release helium balloons outside. Balloons can choke animals and the string can entangle them.
Trash cans need to have secured lids to keep wildlife like raccoons from eating your trash. They often get stuck inside the trash cans when they attempt to exit. If so, call D.C. Animal Care and Control to retrieve them.
Birds are often injured or die due to window collisions. It’s easy to prevent! You can use bird tape to create patterns on the windows or apply Tempera paint.
Wild animals don’t want that selfie! It is unsafe to attempt to interact with the animals as they live in their natural habitat. Keep at least 50 feet between you and any animals you see so they can continue their feeding, resting, or breeding activities while being smart and safe yourself.
Rabbits, fledging birds, and other small animals spend the majority of their time on the ground. Before mowing your lawn, do a walk-through to make sure there are no animals that will be harmed.
Check all entry points to your home and make sure all vents and chimneys are covered and capped. This will prevent wildlife from getting into attics, chimneys, and crawl spaces. But sometimes, this still happens. When it does, call D.C. Animal Care and Control.
If you find a sick or injured animal, confine him/her in a dark container and try to minimise handling. Do not attempt to offer food or water, as it will cause more harm than good. Sick or injured wildlife animals can be reported to D.C. Animal Control Care and Control 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and officers respond to all emergencies. Call 202-576-6664 (press 1).
To learn more about D.C. wildlife, visit our Wildlife Services page.
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