Abandoned Wildlife and Info

Abandoned Wildlife
Our office receives numerous calls each spring about "abandoned" baby animals. Here are a few tips on what to do with abandoned wildlife:

  • Hands Off -- Rarely do wild animals abandon their young. The mother is usually nearby, watching helplessly. They seldom expose themselves, even when their young are being abducted by concerned humans. A baby animal has little scent and mom has plenty, so except for feeding, they leave their young alone to minimize the risk of predators finding their nest.
  • Leave them Alone -- If you find an exposed nest of rabbits, cover it with grass clippings or leaves. Should the nest need to be moved, move it to a safe area, such as a flowerbed, etc., and recover it. You can return a baby bird to its nest, but it’s best to leave it alone! It is not true that parents will reject babies that have been touched by human hands.
  • A Baby Wild Animal's Best Chance for Survival is with its Natural Mother -- Information regarding fawns and baby animals

For additional Information reference North Royalton Code of Ordinances, view Chapter 618 Animals.

Wildlife Information and Tips
Nuisance Prevention
Bats, beavers, birds, coyotes, deer, fox, groundhogs, skunks, rabbits, moles, opossums, raccoons and/or squirrels . . .

  • Food source is the main interest for these animals!
  • Possible sources of trouble include: cat and dog food left outside for the family pet
  • bird seed with corn and other admirable ingredients
  • storage of any food in bags in open garages
  • lawns infested with grubs
  • leaving food or household rubbish accessible
  • chimneys without caps
  • decks and porches without foundation enclosures

Remove the attractants from the vicinity of homes. This includes:

  • garbage and any food sources
  • convenient denning sites like stacked wood or rock piles
  • elevated sheds
  • openings under concrete slabs and porches
  • access to crawl spaces under houses
  • keep lawns trimmed and treat them for grubs
  • harassment can be very effective
  • repack holes with leaves, straw or other material
  • use mild repellents such as ammonia-soaked rags placed near or inside the burrow
  • employ scare tactics such as moving objects, noise objects and even a motion-activated sprinkler to keep unwanted animals away
Do not:

  • feed wildlife (This only causes dependency and leads to overpopulation.)
  • relocate captured wildlife (Captured wildlife must be euthanized.)
Try these suggestions for specific problem areas:
  • Gardens: A fenced garden fares better than one that is not. It keeps out the stray dog, children, a few rabbits and cats. However, a simple picket or wire fence does not stop everything. Groundhogs and moles dig under, raccoons and squirrels climb over, deer hurdle it, slugs ignore it and birds perch on it while digesting your delicacies. Fences designed to keep out absolutely all invaders are impractical.
  • Rabbits: The average life span is one year. Rabbits produce several litters each year; they do not hibernate and are usually active during the day. They are particularly destructive to young fruit trees, garden vegetables, and tulip leaves. Protect fruit trees with a cylindrical fence around the trunk, about 24 inches in height, made of perforated plastic strips, chicken wire or hardware cloth. This will make it difficult for the bark to become a meal. This method will discourage mice too! Rabbits frighten easily. They are timid creatures. Items like a toy snake or even a old garden hose will fool them, at least temporarily. Be diligent about using scare items daily to continue to scare them. (Toy windmills work well!) Rabbits dislike onions; intermingle them with cabbage, lettuce, peas and beans. Another plant that rabbits seem to dislike is Dusty Miller; use it as companion planting and it will look great too!
  • Groundhogs/woodchucks: Whatever you choose to call them, they are the same animal! They arrive for breakfast in the early dewy morning, after the sun comes up, then stay in their burrows during the middle of the day, digesting the greenery. In late afternoon, they emerge to gobble up the greenery and then waddle off to retire for the night. They hibernate during the winter and become active around February 2nd. A good fence is the best protection. The bottom should be buried at least 10 inches below the surface and the underground portion should be bent outward at a 45 degree angle.
  • Moles: They eat slugs, white grubs, Japanese beetles and other soil insects. They tunnel subways throughout the lawn and garden. They are active throughout the year and spend almost their entire lives underground. Moles dislike castor beans! Castor plants are repulsive to moles. Try dropping castor beans into mole holes or plant castor plants around the garden. Or make a solution of 2 parts castor oil and 1 part liquid detergent in the blender. Put a few spoons of this mixture into a sprinkling can of water and pour in the area.
  • Coyotes: These are timid, shy animals, as are all wild animals. They choose to live in seclusion but can easily adapt to our suburban community when life's necessities like food, water and shelter are made available to them. Coyotes are not a threat to you or your family and sightings are not uncommon in North Royalton. They are predators of rodents, small animals and domestic cats. Allowed to roam freely and stray from the safety of their homes, these can become prey for the coyote(s).
  • Deer: They eat buds, twigs and, bark from shrubs and trees. They also like tender vegetables growing in the garden. They are curious and very adaptable to their surroundings. They can leap an 8 foot fence! A four foot width of chicken wire spread flat on the ground around the garden is a better barrier than an upright one since, like all animals, they dislike walking on wire.
  • Raccoons: They are extremely intelligent. A crafty raccoon can open a trash container without knocking it over as would a dog. A teaspoon of ammonia in each trash can and a little sprinkled around the garbage can area will help deter them. Ammonia is also a good disinfectant, keeping the area clean! Raccoons are not deterred by a fence. Press cloves of garlic into the ground around vegetables. Spray grass around the garden lightly with a mixture of kerosene oil and diesel oil. Place dog droppings between the plants.
For a list of nuisance trappers or additional recommendations for control, call Animal Control at 440-237-0665.