If you’ve stepped outside into the sunshine over the past several weeks, there is a good chance you’ve been greeted with a spring sight just as common as flowers bursting into bloom: urban wildlife.
Rabbits, squirrels, deer, skunks, opossums – our backyards and parks have become a menagerie of zoological delight. And though many see these critters as part of the natural world that surrounds us, there are some who feel them a nuisance, a danger, or a problem that needs to be dealt with. While we understand the inclination to feel this way when you see a random four-legged something-or-other scurry across your driveway, we’re here to remind you that Urban Wildlife is a part of our cities, our towns, and our way of life. They deserve to be here and, when in doubt, it’s always best to let them be.
Urban Wildlife Provide Communities with Great Services
You may not realize it, but the best pest control companies in the world don’t charge you a dime. That’s because they’re the urban wildlife you see around you every day. Skunks, songbirds, opossums – they keep your living spaces free from rodents, ticks, and other potential disease-causing vermin. If you see bats in the sky, you can rest assured they’re helping keep the mosquito population at bay – cutting down on bloodborne illness and itchy legs during the summer.
Without these intelligent, symbiotic animals as part of our community, we may find ourselves overrun with the kind of destructive creatures we really don’t want walking in and around our living spaces. So, next time you find yourself frustrated at the presence of an animal in your neighborhood, think of them instead as your 24/hour cleanup crew and let them go on their way.
Urban Wildlife is Good for Our Health, Too
There is a growing body of evidence that shows that, as humans become increasingly isolated from nature, the presence and ability to view urban wildlife is associated with benefits to both mental health and psychological wellbeing.
Urban Wildlife Deserve to Live Free and Unincumbered
If you believe in animal welfare, then you believe that animals deserve the chance to live in beneficial habits that support their growth and wellbeing. Just because these animals may not live in our homes doesn’t mean this same moral standard doesn’t apply. Urban wildlife are essential parts of our community and should be respected as so. They have just as much right to our communities as we do and should be treated as neighbors, not nuisances.
There are Times to Call the Animal Response Team, but They’re Not as Common as You Might Think
Though the benefits of having urban wildlife in our communities vastly outweigh any challenges they may bring, there are occasions where injured wildlife may need human intervention – usually only from professionals like our Animal Response Team (ART). A wild animal outside during the day is not automatically cause for concern, but if you find you’ve crossed paths with an animal that is obviously hurt or distressed, or an animal that is showing signs of aggression that may endanger people or other animals, it’s best to call a proper authority to help. If you’re in Jersey City or Hoboken, you can contact our Animal Response Team. If you’re outside of these cities, you can visit the New Jersey Fish & Wildlife website for additional resources.
Not sure how to react to an animal you interact with? Visit our Wildlife FAQ for great information.