Living Well with Wildlife

Jul 7, 2020Wildlife

Trailside Museums & Zoo encourages people to live well with the wildlife. Take steps to coexist with wildlife, protect wildlife from potential hazards in our yards and communities and prevent wildlife from becoming “problem animals.”

Protect birds by keeping cats indoors.

Keep cats indoors to protect birds and small animal populations.
Domestic cats and stray cats kill hundreds of millions of birds and more than a billion small animals every year. Cats are the number one human-induced threat to birds.

Keep cats indoors to protect them, humans and wildlife from diseases. Outdoor cats suffer more disease, parasites and injury than cats kept indoors. Cats transmit some diseases to humans and other warm-blooded animals, including Toxoplasmosis gondii. Toxoplasmosis is a serious and potentially fatal disease. Keep your cat indoors and encourage others to do so too.

Keep ducks and geese healthy. Do not feed them.

Please do not feed geese, ducks and other birds. Processed foods are not nutritious and healthy for wild birds. Human “junk foods” can lead to disease and developmental disabilities. Angel wing in waterfowl is an example. It is a permanent disability. The last joint of the wing feathers points out laterally rather than resting against the body. Angel wing is a common problem among geese and other waterfowl where people feed them bread, popcorn, potato chips and other processed foods. Handouts do not meet the nutritional needs of wild birds. Birds become dependent on the handouts and stop seeking their natural, nutritious foods. Birds also congregate where there are handouts. Crowding increases interaction among birds and susceptibility to life-threatening diseases. Large populations of waterfowl contribute to excess nutrients in ponds and lakes from waterfowl droppings that lead to algal blooms and other water quality problems. Where waterfowl congregate, they also damage grasslands of parks and other public spaces and home landscapes. Help prevent birds from becoming nuisances.

Keep black bears, raccoons, and humans safe. Keep food and garbage out of reach.

Take a look to see how you may be attracting bears and raccoons: trashcans, bird feeders, grills and outdoor pet feeding. Bears can open or smash open trashcans. Keep trashcans in garage or shed until the morning of trash day. To deter raccoons, use metal trashcans and close with bungee cords. If raccoons still open, move trashcans to garage or shed until trash day. Birdfeeders are also sources of easy food for bears and raccoons. Take feeders down before the evening to keep raccoons out. In late March, remove feeders as bears will be seeking food once they have emerged from winter dens. After grilling, burn off grease to reduce attractive odors. For camping and backcountry safety, visit

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