Are deer foraging in your garden? Did you spot a rattlesnake while walking your dog? Has a raccoon made itself comfortable under your house? Due to urbanization, land development, and climate change, native animals have been displaced from their habitats and have adapted very well to living near humans. Riverside County Department of Animal Servicesoffers suggestions that will help diffuse conflicts and help us coexist humanely with wildlife.
There are many humane alternatives to trapping wild animals, and we are available to assist you. Check our events page to sign up for wildlife presentations and workshops.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has jurisdiction over all wildlife in California. Riverside County Department of Animal Services does not tranquilize, trap or capture healthy wildlife. If requested, we will respond to calls only to assess the situation and consult the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for any further action.
OPOSSUM, RACCOONS & SKUNKS
Raccoons are the most well-known furbearer in California. They are easily distinguishable by their black-masked face and ringed tail. Their human-like forepaws give them great dexterity and aid them in climbing and swimming. Being nocturnal animals, they have keen eyesight and hearing.
Skunks are primarily solitary animals. Just like humans, they have five toes on their front and hind feet. They have elongated nails that aid them in digging for insects and grubs. Skunks are omnivorous and will eat a variety of insects, wild fruits, and small vertebrates, like mice and eggs of ground nesting birds. Their only natural predator is the great-horned owl.
Since being introduced to California in the 1940s, peafowl have adapted to residential environments. Peafowl can be a nuisance as they can be noisy and messy. They can devour newly planted flowerbeds, soil lawns, driveways and destroy rooftops.
Deer are seasonal breeders, usually having one to four fawns in late spring or early summer. Mothers often leave their young while they go out and forage, so it is not concerning to see young deer by themselves. Mothers may aggressively attack if they see you with their young, and their fawns if they smells like humans.
BABY BIRDS & MAMMALS
Many mammals such as deer and rabbits will leave their young unattended for extended amounts of time to avoid drawing in predators. Baby opossums leave their moms when they are about the size of a dollar bill.
While every situation is different, we created a few flowcharts to help determine what to do if you find a baby wild animal.
WE’RE HERE TO HELP:
- Ill or Injured Animals: If the animal is obviously sick or injured, call animal control dispatch 24/7 at add number Obvious signs of illness or injury include bleeding, dragging limbs, obvious wounds or displaying neurological symptoms such as circling or head twitching.
- Orphaned Baby Wildlife: If you find a baby wild animal, please refer to the baby animal flow chart. We ask that you please attempt to reunite healthy baby wildlife with their parents before the animal is considered for admission. Keeping young wildlife with their parent’s ensures a higher likelihood of survival.
DAS does not condone the trapping of healthy wildlife. There are many humane alternatives to trapping wild animals, and we are available to assist you. Check our wild animal resource library for species-specific deterrents.
RCDAS is committed to creating a healthy, sustainable community that values all species. We strive to mitigate the human impact on the natural world through conservation education and rehabilitation.