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How good intentions could cause harm for Hamilton’s wildlife

Hamilton, ON – With the warm weather upon us, the City of Hamilton sees that citizens are enjoying our parks and forested areas. Unfortunately, as citizens are doing so, the City of Hamilton is also seeing an increased volume of subsequent removal of wildlife from their natural habitat with an ill-intentioned result.

Citizens are removing wildlife from their habits out of a variety reasons and good intentions. While it is out of sincere concern, City of Hamilton Animal Services is experiencing an increase in calls and emails about wildlife and noticing that these animals are coming into the shelter unnecessarily.

If citizens find a sick, injured or abandoned wild animal, the City asks that you don't remove the animal right away from its natural habitat, as the animal may not need assistance. Removing the animal could do more harm than good. If concerned, the City asks that they check on the animal periodically for 24 - 48 hours but keep their distance.

Quick facts

  • If you find an abandoned young animal, separated from adults or left on its own — keep cats and dogs away and limit the noise near it
  • Often, the parents of animals leave them alone to find food or sometimes to lead predators away
  • If you find a nest somewhere that it cannot remain, for instance if it’s located on an air vent on a house, carefully move the nest, babies and eggs to a high, safe location nearby as the parents will return and continue caring for them
  • It’s important to note that an adult parent may not return if it is noisy or if predators or people are close by
  • If citizens come across sick or diseased wildlife and you suspect there is a public health risk (such as rabies) contact the City of Hamilton Animal Services right away

The City of Hamilton Animal Services work with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and their wildlife rehabilitators, to temporary care to sick, injured and abandoned wildlife so it can be returned to the wild. Every effort is made by wildlife rehabilitators to ensure wildlife, in their care, do not become tame.

If you find animals roaming at large, wild animals in distress, injured or sick, call:
The City of Hamilton Animal Services
Phone: 905-574-3433 (available 24/7)
Hamilton Animal Services

If you see wild animals that you believe are orphaned, call:
A Wildlife Rehabilitator
They can be found on the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s website.