Wildlife Calls

As the name of our City implies, we are surrounded by the lake and forest lands. It is in the best interest of the community to learn how to co-exist with the abundance of wildlife travelers within our City. The Lake Forest Police Department regularly responds to resident calls involving wildlife. The police do not trap or remove wildlife. Residents may be directed to contact a private company that specializes in the removal of unwanted pests. The information below offers some suggestions about how to live with certain wildlife species that frequent Lake Forest.

With the closing of the Wildlife Discovery Center of Lake Forest, the Police Department would like to acknowledge its staff for their assistance and support on many of our wildlife calls. Residents were often referred to them for wildlife questions and concerns.  WDC has provided us with an outstanding referral agency. Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation has an amazing website to answer just about any question you can imagine if you have found an animal. Go to the Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation website or call them at 847-842-8000 for assistance.

BATSBatLake Forest Police and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) are reminding the public to be aware of the potential for exposure to rabies from infected animals. While bats are beneficial to our ecosystem, they are the most common source of potential infection in Illinois, and exposures from bats tend to be more frequent during the summer months, especially in July and August. The disease can also be found in other wild animals, including raccoons, skunks, foxes, and coyotes. A bat that is active during the day, found on the ground, or is unable to fly is more likely than others to be rabid. Such bats are often easily approached but should never be handled. You can read more here.

c61b114a866c4d5489718d517b475b361DeerDid you know the white-tailed deer is the state mammal of Illinois?

The Lake Forest Police would like to remind residents and travelers that mating season for these beautiful creatures is October-January. Most deer-vehicle accidents (DVAs) occur during the months of October, November, and December. Because deer are most active at dusk and dawn, it is not surprising that most accidents involving deer happen between the hours of 5 to 10 p.m. and 5 to 8 a.m. While not all deer-vehicle collisions can be prevented, there are steps that drivers can take to avoid an accident. You can read the complete article here.

Fall is a good time of year to consider replacing shrubbery and plantings with deer-resistant varieties. It is also a good time to consider installing covers over window wells to prevent animals from falling into the openings. 

CoyoteCoyotesMost go unnoticed, but our community is perfect habitat for the infamous Coyote.   Thankfully, most interactions are uneventful but as we have encroached on their habitat, their behavior has evolved to be far less fearful of our activities.  In nearly all cases, if you leave them alone, they'll leave you alone.

Breeding peaks mid-February and goes until early March.  With a gestation period (pregnancy equivalent) of approximately 60 days, most litters of pups are born between late April and early May.  From February to mid-March mother coyotes are actively seeking out den sites.  By 3 months the puppies are learning how to hunt.  While it's an incredible sight, it may not be what you want to see on your property.  So what can you do to peacefully co-exist? You can read the complete article here.

skunkSkunksEau de skunk, we all know that smell!

Skunks have been holed up for the winter and are now emerging to continue the cycle of life, mating season. They typically mate in February and March and give birth in May and June. Skunks are nocturnal and are seen most often at dusk and early morning.

Right now is a great time to get out and inspect your property. Check around your stoop, deck, shed, or anywhere else a skunk could burrow to make a den. Clear away brush or remove wood piles which are also places of harborage. Deck screening is recommended to keep animals from burrowing underneath your porch or deck. You can dig a shallow trench and bury the screening several inches beneath ground level.

Make sure that your window wells are covered. It’s best to use good quality window well covers, the kind that you can stand on. The Lake Forest Police often receive calls from residents because a skunk or other animal has fallen into the window well and can’t get out. If this happens, a do-it-yourself method of extraction is simply to place a 2x4 into the opening to make a ramp so the animal can climb out. You can read the complete article here.

Additional resources
Wildlife Illinois Website
Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation Website
Stay Informed!