In order to survive, all wild animals need to find shelter, food, and a secure place to give birth and raise their young. Wildlife really wants nothing to do with humans, however, as the human population increases and expands into wildlife territory many wild areas are no longer available to wild animals. In order to survive they must find homes in and around human homes where there is usually always food available and hiding places that are kept heated during the coldest of the winter months. Offer an invitation of food or shelter to a wild animal, either intentionally or accidentally, and it will probably be readily accepted! Some species adapt so well to these new living situations that their populations can increase dramatically. Consequently, homeowners are faced with various wildlife related problems, from nuisance situations to health hazards and fires caused by rodents gnawing on electrical wires.
While many people think that live-trapping animals and taking them “to the woods” where they will live happily ever after is an ideal solution for all involved, this isn’t actually what happens. More than 70% of relocated animals die soon after relocation due to stress, starvation, dehydration and aggression of resident animals.
Newly introduced animals do not know the land, where to get water, food, and what predators are out there. Resident animals will see the new animal as a threat and attack. If young animals are relocated without their parents, their deaths are even more likely as they do not know how to find food, hunt, or protect themselves. The same will happen to them if their parents are relocated and they are left behind with no one to look after them. Many animals, such as raccoons, will stay with their mothers for up to a year, after they are fully grown, before they are ready to strike out on their own. There may also be problems if animal families are relocated together, the stress of being trapped and moved may cause the mother to kill her young.