By Bonney Brown
Watching birds or other wild animals reconnects us to the beauty of nature, but when a critter finds its way into your attic or vegetable garden, you probably won’t have that same warm fuzzy feeling.
Animals can fit through surprisingly small spaces, so secure your chimney and dryer vent with caps and look carefully at the exterior of your home for small gaps and crevices. Holes should be plugged temporarily with a piece of cloth or paper. The plug will be disturbed if an animal was inside; if it remains in place for a couple of days it’s safe to seal the hole permanently without risk of trapping an animal inside. If an animal is inside, we can provide information to help you ensure that the animals are safely removed.
If you hire a wildlife control service, look for one that treats animals humanely. You’ll want to find out how the animals will be handled and their fate after removal.
To keep animals out of your garden, a combination of the right fencing and a spray or granular animal repellent works best.
Kind people often worry about orphaned wildlife, but the absence of parents does not necessarily indicate that babies are in need of help. Many animals leave their young for hours, even all day or night. Baby bunnies can survive without their mom when they are four inches long. The mother animal will be afraid to return while humans or pets are in sight, so bring pets and children inside and watch from a distance.
It is normal for fledglings (young birds) to spend time on the ground. In most cases, it is best to not interfere, but if you are concerned, you could place the fledgling in a low shrub or tree.
If you find a baby bird that does not have any feathers, look in the nearest tree for the nest. If you cannot reach it, create a makeshift nest from a berry basket, place dry grass into the bottom and hang it in the tree. In most cases, the parents will hear the babies and care for them. Baby birds will not be rejected because a human has touched them.
In most cases, keeping baby animals in the wild with their mom gives them their very best chance of survival.
Special Events that Help Animals:
Walk for Animals, May 18 at Sparks Marina. Register today to help raise funds for homeless pets. Brochures available at area businesses, Download one or register online at NevadaHumaneSociety.org.