What to do if I see a wild animal in Vermont | Black bear

What to do if I see a wild animal

Most wild animals keep their distance from people and you should keep your distance from wildlife. Most wild animals have tremendous strength, speed and agility for their size, so they may pose a significant danger to your health and safety or the well-being of pets. While actual attacks by wildlife are unlikely, they most often occur when animals are sick, startled, feel threatened, or become accustomed to people.

If you have the privilege of seeing native wildlife in your backyard, enjoy the experience! Do nothing immediately; respect the animal and do not react unless it is behaving unnaturally. Do not approach or try to get closer to an animal to take photos or video. Native wild animals should be left undisturbed unless they are injured, orphaned, or causing damage.

After the animal has left the yard, survey your property to determine what, if anything, might have attracted the animal. Chances are it was just passing through. Remove anything (e.g., garbage, pet food, bird feeders) that might be an attractant. Review prevention solutions for additional information.

Laws and regulations to be aware of

While we attempt to provide guidance about state and federal regulations pertaining to specific species and control techniques, we do not provide information about local jurisdictions (city, town, county, etc.) where regulations may be more restrictive, especially as it applies to discharge of firearms, transport of animals or use of trapping equipment. Contact your local city or county government to inquire further. No guarantee is made that information (or lack of information) associated with a species or control technique is completely accurate or current. You should become familiar with federal, state and local laws before beginning any wildlife control activities.

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