Living with Wildlife

Many wild animals have adapted well to living in our neighborhoods. By remembering some key factors about living with wildlife, we can learn how to avoid potential problems and enjoy the peace and serenity that these animals can bring to our backyards and communities.

If you encounter injured or orphaned wildlife remember that sometimes, the best way to help wildlife is to just let nature take its course. Human intervention is not always the answer. Before taking action on your own, you should first contact a local wildlife rehabilitator or care center in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, or Wisconsin. Communicate the situation clearly and follow the guidance of these licensed professionals. Visit the University of Illinois Extension and Illinois Department of Natural Resources' website for more information on living with wildlife in Illinois.

Follow the links below to learn more about living with wildlife.

Infant Wildlife

  • Assess whether or not a baby is an orphan or needs rescuing.
  • Take the proper measures when dealing with infant wildlife to not only help the infant, but also protect the entire local habitat.

Learn more.

Injured Wildlife

  • Ensure the animal really needs your help before intervening.
  • Understand local, state and regional laws against keeping wildlife.
  • Keep in mind that the number one threat or killer to injured wildlife is shock; the animal will not understand that you are trying to help so if you must intervene, do so with care.
  • Assume the animal is in shock, eliminate extra stressors.
  • Call for help: There are a number of licensed rehabilitators throughout Illinois. Ask for their qualifications and specialties.

Learn more.

Avoiding Wildlife Troubles

  • Recognize potentially troublesome situations.
  • Prevent animals from getting into unsuitable habitats such as garbage cans and flower beds.
  • Know how to prevent problems from occurring or deal with already troublesome situations.

Learn more.

Preserving and Protecting Wildlife

  • Recognize endangered and threatened species and know how you can help protect them.
  • Recognize common wildlife and learn how to preserve their life.
  • Learn how to help maintain and promote the return of native species.

Learn more.