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Lake County Forest Preserves | Preservation, Restoration, Education and Recreation


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Living With Wildlife

Bird Nest

Many wild animals have adapted well to living in our neighborhoods. By remembering a few key factors about living alongside wildlife, we can learn how to avoid potential problems and enjoy the excitement that these animals bring to our backyards and communities.

Find additional information on living with wildlife, such as photos for identification, locating a wildlife rehabilitation center, or reporting nuisance animals.

Does it really need help?

Assessing whether or not an animal has been orphaned or injured can be difficult. Before interacting with wildlife, make sure it needs rescuing. Learn more »

If an animal does not run away when you approach it or is obviously injured or in an area of danger, then action is needed. Remember that even the most experienced rehabilitators are poor surrogate caregivers compared to life in the wild. For your safety and the sake of the injured animal, if the mother or a sibling is there to help, then let nature take its course.

In most cases, infant wildlife should be left alone. Making contact with wildlife transfers a human scent to the infant, making it more easily detected by predators.

Most adult animals must leave their young unattended to search for food. The young are often left alone or with their siblings for long periods of time, but remain under the watchful eye of their parents.

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    Infant Wildlife

    Assess whether or not the baby is really an orphan and needs to be rescued.

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    Injured Wildlife

    Learn how to make sure an animal needs your help before intervening and what steps to take if action is needed.

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    Wildlife Around Your Home

    The presence of wild animals in urban areas reflects their ability to adapt to human development. Learn more about commonly encountered wildlife conflicts and recommended solutions.

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    Wildlife in the Preserves

    Memorable outdoor experiences often include an unexpected sighting of a wild animal. Help us achieve a healthy balance between land use and conservation.


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