Urban Wildlife

Many different wildlife species reside in the parks, riverfronts, and backyards of our community. Human-wildlife conflicts result as urban development encroaches on previously natural areas. Animals such as raccoons, deer, skunks, coyotes, birds, and opossums have largely managed to adapt well to our presence. Humans, on the other hand, are still working to master this living arrangement. Many people understand the need for effective, lasting, and humane solutions to occasional conflicts with wildlife—mostly because these people enjoy wildlife and want wild animals as neighbours—but many people also resort to inappropriate and environmentally irresponsible “solutions” to human-wildlife conflicts. It’s important to remember that they are just doing what comes naturally – trying to find food, shelter, and raise their young.


If you are experiencing difficulty with an animal at your home, please review these wildlife conflict fact sheets from Toronto Wildlife Centre or the Wisconsin Humane Society.

Should I Trap and Relocate an Animal?

Trapping is not an effective long term method of wildlife control because it doesn’t address the availability of food and shelter. Trapped wildlife can suffer severe self-injury in their attempts to escape and this is more probable the longer they are in a trap. Furthermore, relocation of the captured animals adds to the stress of being in an unfamiliar territory, increases the potential for transmission of infectious diseases and increases conflict between animals (especially during the spring and summer).  Experts estimate that as many as 70% of relocated wild animals do not survive more than a short time in the new location.

If you are experiencing difficulty with an animal at your home, please read through the links above to obtain sound ideas on how to safely handle the removal of these animals. If you are unsuccessful and require expert help to humanely trap the animal (ensuring its safe release back into its habitat), the Humane Society endorses using the services a humane wildlife control company. Two local companies have agreed to abide by humane animal handling standards:

I’ve Found an Injured or Orphaned Animal. What do I Do?

First of all, make sure that you don’t approach a wild animal without concern for your own safely. Wild animals may be in pain or distress, and won’t necessarily realize that you are trying to help them. Secondly, before taking any action, pause to make sure that the animal actually needs help. Many animal parents leave their babies alone for hours while they go out seeking food – this doesn’t mean that they are not coming back. A baby’s best chance for success is with its mother!

Here are some fact sheets that can help you decide if a baby animal requires assistance or not:

What if a bird hits my window?

Birds Striking Windows

If you have confirmed that the animal needs help (see here), try to get the animal into a secure container. The Humane Society is not a licensed wildlife rehabilitation centre, but we are able to accept sick or injured wild animals for stabilization and transfer to our partners at Wings Rehab Centre. Sick or injured wildlife can be brought to the Humane Society daily between 8am and 6pm. You can also bring wildlife directly to Wings Rehabilitation Centre (519-736-8172) or Erie Wildlife Rescue (519-735-3919). Please be sure to contact them before going to make sure they are able to accept the animal!