In our recent survey, we had a wide range of responses from residents regarding wildlife in the area. The topic of wildlife is timely, as it’s “National Wildlife Week“!
Many of you wrote to defend the right of animals to be in the neighbourhood, and many were upset about the shooting of the local coyote last year. There were also many people who, while sympathetic, told tales of trying to remove possums from bathrooms, and raccoons and squirrels from attics at great expense and effort. Feeding wild animals was widely criticized since they can become dependent on the food, and often leave food in others’ yards. Skunks, wild cats, termites, ants…all causes of concern. Although not technically wildlife, there were many comments concerning dog owners who don’t clean up after their dogs also. Ensuring that bins are properly secured was the top recommendation from residents.
So…now that Spring is in the air, Cabbagetowners – including all of our community creatures – are becoming more active and we have some tips.
Everyone should be reminded that those garbage containers that were left alone in the deep freeze of winter are once again the buffet repository for hungry racoons. Make sure to racoon-proof your garbage container lids as best you can (my personal recommendation is Raccoon Check – I’ve used them for 11 years and no raccoon has ever managed to get in to my compost bin. Unfortunately, they’re hard to find since Home Hardware stopped carrying them but they can still be found online). Some residents wrote that they freeze their compost, and put it out in the green bin on pickup morning (I’m sure there are some raccoons that still like compostcicles, but leaving it until the morning of pickup is a good strategy). Also, be aware that pets roaming free are at a risk of coming in contact with emerging skunks especially in the hours of dusk and dawn – keep them close.
The helping hand of providing food to wild animals can be of some benefit in harsh conditions as was the case this winter (See comment below) but now is the time to ween them off human handouts and let them forage. Animals becoming too dependent on humans for their food supply are the first to be identified as a nuisance and can require relocation.