Wildlife Injury Prevention Tips

Most animals admitted to the von Arx Wildlife Hospital Florida suffer from injuries or illnesses caused by humans. Since most people seek to avoid causing harm to other living creatures, we put together a list of things to do – or not do – to help wildlife.

Supervise your pets

Prevent your pet cats and dogs from attacking and/or playing with wildlife. Don’t allow pets outdoors unsupervised. Many injuries happen when dogs are just spending time outside in their yard. Even a well fed cat has the instinct to hunt.

Educate children

Educate children to respect all wild creatures and their habitats. Wild animals are not playthings and should be allowed to go about their lives undisturbed. Children should not throw rocks at wildlife or disturb them if they are resting on the beach or roosting in trees.

Pick up litter

Pick up litter that could harm wildlife, including sixpack rings, plastic bags, fishing tackle, soda cans, jars and old pieces of carpet or netting.

Do not trap

Do not trap or in any other way cause harm to wildlife. If you are having issues with a nuisance wildlife situation, trapping should be the last option. There are many humane ways to solve nuisance wildlife issues. Call the von Arx Wildlife Hospital for suggestions (239-262-CARE).

Leave infant wildlife alone

It is difficult to know if a baby animal needs help. Many species of wildlife leave their babies alone for extended periods of time while some wild animal parents provide constant care. If you believe you have found an orphaned animal, call the hospital before taking action to ensure there is a need for intervention.

Be alert

Be alert when driving, especially in rural areas, to avoid hitting wildlife. Many species of wildlife are most active at dawn and dusk. Please stop when possible and move turtles from the roadway or shoulder. Always move them in the direction they were heading.

Check trees before trimming, cutting

Check trees before trimming or cutting them down to make sure there are no active nests.  If dead trees pose no hazard, leave them standing. They provide homes for a variety of wildlife, such as woodpeckers, owls, and squirrels.   Try to avoid trimming trees during the spring and summer nesting seasons.

Use non-toxic products

Use non-toxic products on your lawn and garden when fertilizing.

Plant native trees and shrubs

Plant native trees and shrubs to provide homes and food sources for wildlife. Many migrating species are attracted to areas with native vegetation.

Do not attempt to keep wildlife as pets

Do not attempt to raise or keep wildlife as pets.  Not only is it illegal, but wild animals do not make good pets and captivity poses a constant stress to them.  Young wild animals raised without contact with their own species fail to develop survival skills and fear of humans, virtually eliminating their chances of surviving in the wild.

Alert birds to large expanses of glass

Alert birds to large expanses of glass in your home by hanging reflective streamers nearby. Reducing the reflection should cut down on the number of birds who collide, often fatally, with doors and windows. For more tips on how to keep birds safe from window collisions visit abcbirds.org.

Do not leave fishing line or hooks unattended

Do not leave fishing line or fish hooks unattended and retrieve any kite string left on the ground or entangled in trees.

Look before mowing your lawn

Look before mowing your lawn. Walk through the area to make sure no rabbits or ground nesting birds are in harm’s way.

Do not feed wildlife

Do not feed wildlife.  Feeding encourages animals to become dependent on handouts, lose their fear of humans, and to congregate in unnaturally large groups, increasing the chances of disease transmission.