May 23, 2002
Wildlife may search for new homes because of record rains
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. Wildlife that nest on the ground or underground could pose a problem for people as the animals are forced out of their homes during record rains, according to experts.
If any wild animal seeks shelter where it is more likely to come in contact with people, professionals specifically trained in capturing the creature can best handle the situation, said Kim Phillips, of the Wildlife Conflicts Information Hotline.
This is especially important if the animal is a female with young, or a venomous snake, said Phillips, a wildlife specialist with the hotline service operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Indiana Department of Natural Resources and Purdue University.
Some animals, such as raccoons or opossums, can be caught with cage traps. Some equipment rental companies, hardware and sporting good stores rent or sell the traps. However all wild animals are unpredictable, especially those that are injured or orphaned, Phillips said, and caution must be used in approaching them.
It's important to keep pet vaccinations up to date because pets are susceptible to many diseases carried by wild animals, such as distemper, she said.
The hotline office, operated on Purdue's West Lafayette campus, can provide information on laws that affect handling of wildlife, and lists of people licensed to capture or remove nuisance animals and wildlife rehabilitators who care for injured or orphaned wildlife.
The Hotline numbers are (765) 496-3968 for the Greater Lafayette area and (800) 893-4116 for the rest of the state. The hotline operates Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit the Animal Conflicts Office Web site online.
Writer: Susan A. Steeves, 765-496-7481, firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Kim Phillips, (765) 496-3968
Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes, email@example.com; http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/AgComm/public/agnews/
Related Web sites:
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; firstname.lastname@example.org