Animals are clever, cunning, inquisitive and resourceful. But sometimes being too clever can be a problem and for many animals. Their ability to adapt and seek out homes in urban areas can lead to some interesting situations, as wildlife around the country often finds its way into the weirdest and most wonderful places. Nowhere is totally safe from a determined animal and over the years we have been confronted with some interesting situations.
Squirrels under the hood
When you pop the hood of your car, you expect to see lots of things, a battery, engine, radiator but you do not expect to see a squirrel, raccoon or any other wild animal. However, animals can find their way into the engines of cars and when they do, they are typically looking for a place to nest. And let’s be honest, nobody wants a family of squirrels making themselves at home in their vehicle. They can cause serious damage to your car and since it is also not safe for the squirrels, your best course of action is to get rid of them as soon as possible.
Often the simplest solution is the best. Squirrels will choose to nest under the hood because it is dark, warm and safe. Simply leaving the engine open might be enough to persuade a mother to relocate her offspring to an alternative den site. If the squirrel still refuses to move, you can try to convince them to leave with a combination of light, sound, and unpleasant or threatening smells. But be careful of frightening the mother squirrel too much as she may abandon her babies in her haste to escape. Your best option is to call in a wildlife control expert – they will know how to remove the squirrel family as quickly and humanely as possible.
Rodents in the BBQ Grill?
We all love barbecuing in the summer but opening the lid or drawers of your barbecue after it has not been used for many months can lead to some interesting surprises and unexpected guests. While your barbecue might not serve many purposes for you in the winter, it can make a great home for opportunistic wildlife. It is not unheard of for outdoor cooks to find families of wildlife, like opossums, mice, rats or squirrels living under the hood of their BBQ grills. This is a cozy place for a mother opossum to find protection from predators and the elements and therefore makes an ideal nesting site.
Raccoons in the Cooler?
Coolers are great for storing cold beverages, but they are not designed to house raccoons. This, however, did not stop an opportunistic mother raccoon from trying to turn a cooler, conveniently left open outside on the porch of a local home, into a comfortable den. Skedaddle technicians in Ontario were called in to remove a mother raccoon and her babies from the cooler. Fortunately, it was easy for the experienced technicians to get the mother out of the cooler and place the babies in a special heated baby box so that the mother could later relocate them to a more suitable den site.
Mother Raccoon in a Skedaddle Baby Box?
A Skedaddle baby box is designed to keep babies safe and warm until the mother has had time to relocate them to an alternative den site. We use these boxes all the time to reunite mothers and babies that have been removed from attics, but one resourceful mother raccoon thought that it was easier for her to move into the baby box rather than relocate her family. When our technicians came to check on a baby box left outside a property, they were surprised to find the mother in the box with her babies. Not quite the intended outcome but the technicians were soon able to persuade the mother to leave the box and take her offspring with her.
Fox on the Roof?
Being called to rescue a fox from a rooftop in the city is not an everyday occurrence even for the most experienced wildlife removal experts. Gray foxes are clever and cunning, and while they can climb trees, they can’t scale the sides of buildings and they don’t generally find their way up and onto the roofs of buildings. But that does not mean it is an impossible feat. In 2018 a gray fox was rescued from the roof the Duquesne Club building in Pittsburgh. No one could figure out how this clever fellow made his way several floors up before finding himself trapped on the roof. Luckily, he was spotted by people in the building and quickly captured on the rooftop by Humane Animal Rescue and transferred to their Wildlife Rehab Centre. After a thorough medical check, the fox was deemed to be in perfect health and was later released back into the wild. Fortunately, this is not a situation that most homeowners will ever have to deal with.
What to do When you Find an Animal in an Unusual or Unexpected Place
Live trapping and relocation of wild animals should never be carried out by anyone other than an expert. Incorrect capture and relocation away from their normal territory can have serious consequences for many animals. For example, relocated squirrels often struggle to survive and if a relocated mother leaves her babies behind, they will also die. Even when relocated together, a mother squirrel may abandon her offspring when she finds herself in unfamiliar territory.
Another thing to consider when dealing with wildlife is the law. Before you even consider relocating a wild animal that you have found on your property, you need to check your local bylaws. For example, it is illegal to relocate wildlife in Ontario further than 1 km from where they were originally found and removing and relocating wildlife without the help of an expert could lead to costly legal action. If you find any wildlife that is raising a family anywhere on your property where it should not be, you want the entire family to be removed as safely and humanely as possible. This cannot be achieved without experience, expertise and the appropriate equipment, so call in a professional wildlife removal service.
You need to be vigilant and make sure that your property is secure and always be on the lookout for possible wildlife hiding places. If you find a den site or nest, you can rely on our expert staff at Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control. Our professionally trained technicians have seen it all over the years and know how to deal with any unwanted wildlife invasions.