- October 16th, 2015 How Torontonians can co-exist with their furry neighbours, even raccoons
- October 16th, 2015 How Torontonians can co-exist with raccoons
- July 22nd, 2015 Durham Region - Humane ways to avoid conflict with wildlife in Durham
- July 15th, 2015 Yahoo News - City dwellers must co-exist with urban wildlife, experts say
- Jun 11th, 2015 City News - Owl rescued from being stuck in soccer net
- May 14th, 2015 Toronto Star - Humans not raccoons are the problem
- April 6th, 2015 CTV - Tips for keeping your home critter free
- April 6th, 2015 Global News - Toronto considering raccoon-resistant green bins
- April 6th, 2015 Newstalk 1010 - Raccoon-proof green bins & expanded blue bins on this week's city agenda
- September 20th, 2014 Inside Toronto - Company helps Scarborough senior solve raccoon problem at no cost
- August 18th, 2014 National Post - Rob Ford makes a new enemy, says he has been in 'standoffs' with fearless raccoons outside his home
- September 26, 2013 PCT Magazine - Humane Urban Wildlife Management: What Does it Really Mean?
- July 25th, 2013 The Star - Racoons: Everything you always wanted to know about them but were too busy cleaning up their mess to ask
- March 8th, 2013 The Star - Trapped Cat Survives Between Floor and Ceiling For 11 Days
- Winter 2012 Condominium Manager Magazine - Protecting Your Green Image
- December 12th, 2011 AAA Gates' Wildlife Control - Choose a Wildlife Control Company Carefully
- October 1st, 2011 The National Post - Toronto's flourishing fauna
- September 23rd, 2011 The Toronto Star - Wildlife vs. the city: Can't we get along?
- August 21st, 2011 AAA Gates' Wildlife Control - Nuisance Wildlife and Municipal Animal Services
- June 8th, 2011 The Grid - All creatures great and small
- May 20, 2011 Toronto Sun - Three albino baby raccoons found
- February 10th, 2011 AAA Gates' Wildlife Control - The Reprecussions of Live Trapping Wildlife
- November 17th, 2010 Eye Weekly - Pop-up possums! Everything you need to know about Toronto's newest immigrants
- September 28th, 2010 AAA Gates' Wildlife Control - Humane Bat Removal
- October 2010 Green Condos - A Guide for Choosing an Ethical and Humane Wildlife Control Company
- Summer 2010 Toronto Life Magazine - Gates' Wildlife Control Voted Best in the City
- July 2nd, 2010 Globe and Mail - The 'Wild West' of wildlife control
- June 15th, 2010 ACMO Tech - Solving Wildlife Problems: Challenges Confronting Property Managers
- May 6th, 2010 The Record - Raccoon in attic led to Kitchener blaze
- February 2nd, 2010 The Toronto Star - City's Coyotes Popping Up Again
- January 14th, 2010 Newmarket Era - Lone coyote roaming around Glenway club
- May 11th, 2009 City TV News - Wildlife Crew Finds Rare Albino Raccoon At Contruction Site
- March 30th, 2009 City TV News - Creature Comforts How To Stop Wildlife From Invading Your Property
- February 24th, 2009 The Toronto Star - Coyote attacks prompt city to take action
- April 24th, 2008 City TV News - Raccoon Fatally Injured After Leg Caught In Barbaric Trap
- August 20th, 2007 City TV News - Raccoon Sways Lamp Post, Crowd
Pop-up possums! Everything you need to know about Toronto's newest immigrants
Eye WeeklyBy Alexandra Posadzki
Think you've spied an impossibly large rodent lurking around your yard of late? Don't worry, it's probably just a possum (or an opossum, if we're getting technical). Brad Gates, owner and president of AAA Gates' Wildlife Control, says his company has fielded an increasing number of calls in recent years from city residents mistaking the marsupials for rats. "I would say this year's population is up," says Gates, "because of the mild winter we had last year." Experts guess that the creatures — which reside throughout most of the US — may have hitched a ride past customs in the backs of trucks, or simply migrated further north thanks to global warming. "Where we used to only get possum calls in the Mississauga and Brampton areas, the calls are now coming in from as far east as Oshawa and Whitby," says Gates, "so they're making progress across the GTA." Last year, the Toronto Wildlife Centre admitted 73 injured possums to their hospital, according to executive director Nathalie Karvonen.
This year's number is on track to be slightly lower, which Karvonen chalks up to the suggestion that Toronto's newest immigrants are adapting to our frigid, concrete jungle.
They don't hibernate: Although possums can store up a few weeks' worth of body fat, they still forage for food in the snow. Unfortunately, because possums come from a warmer climate, they frequently suffer from frostbite on the tips of their ears and their tails during harsh Canadian winters.
They're talented: Like monkeys, possums have a prehensile tail that they use to balance and to wrap around branches. Unlike monkeys, They don't actually hang upside down from trees like one sees in cartoons.
They're mostly harmless: possums are not as strong or fast-moving as raccoons, preferring to make meals from scavenged fruit, meat or birdseed left behind by other animals. When threatened, they play dead and secrete a rot-like stench.
Eight to 14: Typical size of a possum litter. Moreover, opossums often breed more than once a year, explaining their fast spread across the city.
50: Number of teeth in a possum's mouth, more than any other mammal.
- Nov. 4 - Goreway and Morning Star
- Nov. 4 - Symons and Wheatfield
- Oct. 17 - The Queensway and Park Lawn
- Sept. 21 - QEW and Dixie
- Aug. 25 - Queen and Bathurst
- Aug. 23 - Jane and Dundas W.
- Aug. 18 - Weston and Eglinton W.
- July 30 - Browns Line and Horner
- July 14 - Eglinton W. and Laird (litter of 15)
- July 17 - Eglinton W. and Islington
- June 26 - Dupont and Dundas W.
- June 23 - Eglinton W. and Renforth (litter of 4)
- June 6 - Kipling and Albion
- June 1 - Bloor W. and Mill
- May 27 - Dundas W. and Bloor W.
- May 26 - College and Dovercourt
A FAMILY AFFAIR
The most interesting possum call Brad Gates has ever received occurred in the fall of 2009. It came from a homeowner near Broadview and Danforth, whose kitchen fruit basket was being mysteriously emptied overnight. "We searched the house and we were unable to find out where this animal was or even identify how it may have gotten into the house," said Gates, "until we decided to check the stroller." A possum, perhaps nostalgic for the marsupial pouch where it had spent its youth, had taken up residence in the elasticized pocket on the back of the stroller, sleeping there during the daytime and venturing out for food at night. When the weather turned colder, the family had brought the stroller — which had been sitting in the yard — into the basement, unaware that the possum was inside. "They actually introduced it into their own basement," said Gates.