Monday, August 24. 2020
Spotting Squirrels Clinging to The Outside Of Buildings & Why They Don’t Need Help!
Baby squirrels start exploring outside the nest around 6 weeks of age and are ready to be on their own at 10 weeks of age. When baby squirrels emerge from their den site for the first few times, they may be frozen with fear confused what to do. They can sometimes be seen hanging on to the walls of houses, downspouts, fences etc. Although they may seem stuck, they are just not quite sure what their next move should be. Over time they will learn how to maneuver themselves and will learn by watching their mom.
Squirrels are equipped with such long fingers which are designed to aid in climbing trees but also suit them well for traversing brick walls, roof tops and attic spaces.
It is best just to give them some space and soon they will figure out how to be acrobats.
Friday, August 21. 2020
This morning I discovered this bear poop on my cottage driveway. While I think it is pretty cool to have a bear visit our cottage, my wife thinks very differently about it. Over the years we have had 5 different bears on our cottage property and every time I have not been there to assure my wife that it had no intention to eat her or the kids.
The very first time we had a cottage bear encounter it entered our open shed and proceeded to run down the driveway with my plastic garbage can in its mouth. That bear hung around for a week looking for food. You see, if a bear is successful in getting a tasty meal of human food, there is a good chance it will become a nuisance bear. We can’t blame the bear for that, it was our own fault for not locking up the garbage. It is that simple.
I have since notified all of my cottage neighbours that a bear is in the vicinity and reminded them to take steps to ensure the bear doesn’t get a free meal.
For your information I have copied below the Ontario Governments “Bear Wise tips”
At your cottage:
Most human-bear conflicts occur when bears are attracted by smells and rewarded with an easy meal. When bears pick up a scent with their keen noses, they will investigate it – even at your cottage. If bears are rewarded with feasts of bird food, garbage or pet food, they will return as long as the food source is available. It takes all cottagers working together to eliminate these attractants and to stop bear problems.
Here are some tips to help avoid these unwanted visitors:
- Fill bird feeders only through the winter months
- Never purposely feed bears (or other wildlife) or try to approach them
- Only put garbage out on garbage day, not the night before
- Store garbage in a bear-resistant container with a tight-fitting lid, secure shed or garage. Do not store garbage in plywood boxes, old freezers or vehicles
- Do not use outdoor fridges or freezers, including beverage fridges, as these may attract bears to your property
- Do not stockpile garbage; take it to an approved waste disposal site regularly
- Keep meat scraps in the freezer until garbage day
- Remove grease and food residue from barbecue grills, including the grease trap, after each use
- Do not put meat, fish or sweet food (including fruit) in your outdoor composter
- Pick all ripe fruit off trees, and remove vegetables and fallen fruit from the ground
- Encourage your neighbours to practise Bear Wise habits
- Before leaving your cottage
- When leaving your cottage make sure to:
- Remove your garbage: take it home or drop it off at an approved waste disposal site on your way
- Use a strong disinfectant to eliminate all odours from garbage and recycling containers and lids
- Never discard cooking grease outside: place it in a container with a lid, transfer it to a plastic bag and include it with other properly stored garbage
- Take your barbecue with you when you leave the cottage, or clean it and store it in a secure shed
- Do not leave any food or food scraps outdoors for pets or other wildlife
- When packing up, remember to remove all the food from the inside of your cottage
- A box of pudding or fruit-flavoured dessert mix is all it takes to attract a bear
- Do not leave scented products outside
- Even non-food items like suntan lotion, insect repellent, soap and candles attract bears
- Close and lock all windows and doors
- If you are away for an extended period of time, have someone you trust check in and look for signs of a bear visitor or break in
- If you rent your cottage, tell your tenants the importance of being Bear Wise
If you encounter a black bear:
When bears are caught off guard, they are stressed, and usually just want to flee.
Stop. Do not panic. Remain calm.
Generally, the noisier the bear is, the less dangerous it is, provided you do not approach. The noise is meant to “scare” you off and acts as a warning signal.
- Slowly back away while keeping the bear in sight and wait for it to leave.
- If the bear does not leave, throw objects, wave your arms and make noise with a whistle or air horn.
- Prepare to use bear spray.
- If you are near a building or vehicle get inside as a precaution.
- Drop any food you may be carrying and slowly move away.
- If a bear is in a tree, leave it alone. Leave the area. The bear will come down when it feels safe.
- Run, climb a tree or swim.
- Kneel down.
- Make direct eye contact.
- Approach the bear to get a better look.
- Attempt to feed a bear.
Wednesday, August 12. 2020
Snake Found in a Scarborough Resident’s Shed.
Last week Gates Wildlife Control responded to an emergency call regarding a large snake inside a homeowners shed. Our customer sent us a photo and we knew we had to respond immediately as this snake should not be wondering the neighbourhoods of Toronto.
Gates Wildlife Vice President Peter and Gates Wildlife Field Supervisor Joel arrived onsite shortly after the call. Joel states that the snake is not a native species but likely someones pet that had escaped its enclosure and somehow managed to get outside.
Joel identified the snake is a Carpet Python, which are medium sized pythons. They are named for their beautiful markings, which resemble an oriental carpet pattern. Carpet Pythons are arboreal (treelike) snakes so they like to get on top of things to survey their surroundings. This explains why he got on top of the brooms in the shed rather than hiding in a corner at ground level.
The Carpet Python was taken to a facility that will care for him.