Squirrel – Relocation Problems

Q: As a wildlife rehabilitator, I feel I need to respond to your article about trapping squirrels in the attic. I appreciate your reference to “humane traps”, but you didn’t indicate what people are to do with these creatures AFTER they’re trapped. What folks don’t realize is that releasing a squirrel away from its home territory is almost sure death for the animal. They are away from their familiar food sources and shelter. This leaves them vulnerable to predators and starvation…not what most people expect.

A: You are absolutely correct about the usual fate of relocated animals. Nick Nicholson, Senior. Wildlife Biologist for the Department of Natural Resources, agrees that moving an animal to an area which has already reached its carrying capacity for squirrels is unfortunately often lethal. He points out that current regulations allow his staff to issue verbal permits to relocate small nuisance animals if you have permission from the landowner where you release them. Citizens in the Atlanta area can call the DNR at 770-918-6416 for further advice about nuisance animals.

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