Apr 19, 2018

Commission Approves Progressive Predator Policy

By Rebecca Dmytryk




In December, 2015, I was appointed by the California Fish and Game Commission to serve on the newly established Predator Policy Workgroup. This group of ten, representing wildlife conservation, non-lethal wildlife control, hunting and agriculture, was tasked with the job of reviewing existing regulations that govern terrestrial carnivores and making recommendations to modernize them, and, developing a separate policy for predators.

It was a cumbersome process. Over a 24-month period, we met only 8 times, our meetings and communications were hamstrung by the Bagley-Keene Act, and, not only were we, on the wildlife conservation side, outnumbered, the majority of workgroup members were lobbyists - making compromise virtually impossible.

Despite the difficulties, the workgroup did accomplish some important work. After thorough review of the regulations, we submitted constructive feedback. You can view our recommendations, HERE. The group also crafted a comprehensive terrestrial predator policy, with only two points of contention - the inclusion of the word humane, as it relates to methods used to resolve predator conflicts, and exclusion of recreational take

Today, after listening to our final presentations and hearing testimony from professionals and members of the public (view the video of Agenda Item 32HERE)the Fish and Game Commission voted to adopt the Terrestrial Predator Policy (below) with a slight revision proposed by Commissioner Williams - which we supported.




Terrestrial Predator Policy 
(as amended by the Fish & Game Commission, April 19, 2018) 

It is the policy of the Fish and Game Commission that: 

I. For the purposes of this policy, terrestrial predators are defined as all native wildlife species in the Order Carnivora, except those in the Family Otariidae (seals, sea lions), the Family Phocidae (true seals), and sea otters (Enhydra lutris). 

II. Pursuant to the objectives set forth in Section 1801 of Fish and Game Code, the Fish and Game Commission (Commission) acknowledges that native terrestrial predators are an integral part of California’s natural wildlife and possess intrinsic, biological, historical, and cultural value, which benefit society and ecosystems. The Commission shall promote the ecological, scientific, aesthetic, recreational, and educational value of native terrestrial predators in the context of ecosystem-based management, while minimizing adverse impacts on wildlife and reducing conflicts that result in adverse impacts to humans, including health and safety, private property, agriculture, and other public and private economic impacts. 

III. The Commission further recognizes that sustainable conservation and management strategies are necessary to encourage the coexistence of humans and wildlife. It is, therefore, the policy and practice of the Fish and Game Commission that: 

a. Existing native terrestrial predator communities and their habitats are monitored, maintained, restored, and/or enhanced using the best available science. The department shall protect and conserve predator populations. 

b. Native terrestrial predator management shall be consistent with the goals and objectives of existing management and conservation plans. Management strategies shall recognize the ecological interactions between predators and other wildlife species and consider all available management tools, best available science, affected habitat, species, and ecosystems and other factors. The department shall provide consumptive and non-consumptive recreational opportunities. The recreational take of native terrestrial predator species shall be managed in a way that ensures sustainable populations of predator and prey are maintained. 

c. Human-predator conflict resolution shall rely on management strategies that avoid and reduce conflict that results in adverse impacts to human health and safety, private property, agriculture, and public and private economic impacts. Efforts should be made to minimize habituation of predators especially where it is leading to conflict. Human safety shall be considered a priority. Management decisions regarding human-predator conflicts shall evaluate and consider various forms of lethal and nonlethal controls that are efficacious, humane, feasible and in compliance with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations. A diverse set of tools is necessary to avoid, reduce, and manage conflict. To ensure long term conservation of predators and coexistence with humans and wildlife, all legal tools shall be considered when managing to address conflicts.  


While the Predator Policy Workgroup was officially disbanded earlier this year, I am looking forward to continuing to work on modernizing the regulations with at least one of the original workgroup members, Josh Brones. 

We're currently in recruitment mode, looking for people with knowledge and experience in wildlife conservation, hunting and agriculture, who are willing and able to invest the time and energy necessary. If you or someone you know is interested in being a part of this new ten-member workgroup, please contact me at rebecca (at) wildlifeservices dot org.

A huge THANK YOU! to everyone who worked on the drafting and review process and to the Fish & Game Commission for adopting a progressive predator policy!  

I also want to thank our WES supporters. Your contributions have helped get me to and from Workgroup meetings and Commission hearings. Your continued support is greatly appreciated. Thank you!!!







Dec 23, 2017

Tragic loss of a bobcat

By Rebecca Dmytryk


I see a lot of injury and suffering and death in this line of work. Over the many years I've become "professionally numb"  - careful not to get too caught up in emotion - get the job done - get the animal help. 

This one animal's story, though, is so tragic.

In September 2016, we rescued a female bobcat from the Elkhorn Slough area. She was suffering from mange and blood test revealed she'd been exposed to an anticoagulant -likely a rodenticide. More on her rescue, HERE.

Thanks to the great work by Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley, she was successfully rehabilitated, and released right back in her home territory, just yards from where I'd trapped her. More on her release, HERE.

During her rehabilitation, physical exams suggested she might have been pregnant, but this was never confirmed.

Throughout 2017, we received reports of mangey bobcats in the same area from time to time. We know of at least one that died and its body was buried before it could be tested. I'd wondered if this was "our" bobcat.

Second generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs) are so dangerous because the chemicals stay in the body - in the liver - for a long time - over a year, I've heard. So, I wondered, could we have cured the bobcat of mange and reversed hemorrhaging but set her free with the poisons still inside her?

On October 29th WES responded a report of two sick bobcats at the slough - a mother and kitten. Both were suffering from mange.

We successfully captured the kitten. Video, HERE.


Blood tests revealed the kitten had been exposed to an anticoagulant. 

The good news - the kitten is still alive and in care at a local wildlife hospital and expected to be released back into the wild.

Since then, we have been trying to find and capture the mother. Could she be the cat we rescued and released last year? 




We would get reports of a sickly bobcat in the same area, but our attempts to trap the animal failed. Very elusive. Was she trap wise?

Today we received word that a bobcat had been found, dead. We went to investigate.




It was our female bobcat. A lucky photo of her teeth from when she was released in 2016 confirmed her identity. She died next to a guzzler - a small trough of water. Animals poisoned by anticoagulants start to bleed internally and become very thirsty. Everything points to poison as the cause of death. 

Tragic... on so many levels. 

A huge thank you to Elkhorn Slough Reserve for allowing us to send the liver for testing to confirm exposure to anticoagulants and determine which anticoagulants she was exposed to. Perhaps this will lead us to the local source. Perhaps there is a way to do a DNA test to confirm she's the mother of the kitten that's still in care. 

It's so very, very, very sad. 

I have seen too many bobcats die from poison over the years. Anticoagulant poisons must be banned. Now! This is urgent! We must take action, now! Are you in? 

Join us in banning anticoagulants in California. Can you make signs, go to rallies, attend a parade or two, make phone calls, sit with us in government offices, speak at meetings? If you can't participate in an activist's role, send money. We'll need it for travel to Sacramento and throughout CA to meet with decision-makers. 



Thank you all... 

Rebecca 








Nov 19, 2017

Readying for 2018



As we head into the holiday season and toward the new year, we wanted to give thanks to everyone who has supported our endeavors. You made it possible for us to save lives on so many fronts.

Your donations funded our emergency response team, which helped us rescue hundreds of wild animals that would have otherwise gone unassisted.

Your support helped us reach thousands of people through our workshops, speaking engagements, and seminars, where we shared our knowledge and expertise. 

You also helped fund lab tests that proved wild animals had been exposed to poison, helping us bring attention to the risk of rodenticides.

Now, as the year draws to a close, we'd like to ask for your continued support in 2018. 

To make a contribution, click HERE, or, check out the list of special projects below. 

Again, thank you for your past and continued support!

Rebecca Dmytryk
Founder and CEO





Rodenticide Screenings
Help us bring an end to anticoagulant rodenticide use. 

In 2018 we want to test more wildlife for anticoagulant rodenticide exposure to help establish how pervasive and dangerous these poisons are. We want to include deceased feral cats in this study. To our knowledge this has never been done. Each test costs $150.00. Click the Donate button below to contribute towards this project. Thank you for your support!





Coyote Capture Trap

Coyotes are by far the most difficult animals to capture. They do not go into cage traps readily. We would like to build and test a prototype of a large coyote "trap". If it proves successful, we would make this capture tool available to other organizations and agencies to safely capture coyotes in need of medical attention. Initial prototype $2,000.00. Includes radio for remote triggering. Click the Donate button below to contribute towards this project. Thank you! 




Education and Advocacy

Last year, WES founder, Rebecca Dmytryk, was appointed to the Department of Fish and Wildlife's Predator Policy Workgroup. The group of 10 was tasked with reviewing the State's wildlife policies and regulations and proposing changes. Unfortunately, the workgroup made little progress, but Dmytryk is committed to the job. She will lead an informal workgroup to continue the important work - reviewing the regulations and proposing changes to better reflect today's conservation values. 

Also for 2018, WES has a number of speaking engagements already calendared, including two presentations in Southern California on Living With Urban Coyotes and three wildlife capture and handling trainings. 

Click the Donate button below to help cover costs of travel to provide our educational presentations and attend Fish and Game commission meetings throughout the state. Thank you for your support!





Basic Supplies

We'd like to provide our lead responders with a couple of new nets with custom bags for special rescues, and resupply them with gloves, safety glasses, masks, hand cleaner, towels and sheets, and a small mammal carrier. Each kit, including the nets, will run us about $85.00. Click the Add to Cart button below to purchase a kit for one of our lead rescuers. Thank you! 




Quad-County Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

And if you have $500,000.00 sitting around that you don't know what to do with, we're looking to establish a wildlife center to serve San Benito and surrounding counties. Desperately needed. This includes two salaried positions for three years at $50,000.00 each - for a Wildlife Care Manager and Rescue Coordinator, and $200,000.00 for start-up, enclosures, supplies and general operating expenses over 3 years. We need a backer before we can be serious about any kind or lease agreement. Please contact rebecca@wildlifeservices.org if you're interested or have any ideas or questions. 



Thank you!!!!




Oct 28, 2017

The real horror of fake spider webbing

This bee was found dead - entangled in the filaments of fake spider web decor at a home of the West Side.  

Just a reminder to all, about how dangerous the fake spider web material can be to wildlife - especially flying animals that don't have the strength or ability to break away from the manmade material.

Here's a story of an owl that was snagged by the webbing. Thankfully, it was rescued in time. Not so for these bees, pictured here.

Please, please do not use this material outside!



Sep 30, 2017

Another bobcat with mange

By Rebecca Dmytryk




On Tuesday, WES was referred a call about a bobcat with mange in Aptos. A resident had seen it drinking from their pool in the mornings, for about three days in a row. They sent a photo showing a very thin, very ill cat.



I arrived on scene at about 9 the next morning. A beautiful mediterranean-style home atop a hill surrounded by oak woodlands and agricultural fields. 

I set a large cage-trap in the backyard, positioning it along the path the cat would take to drink from the pool, and baited it with a bit of rotisserie chicken and some raw venison pet food. Yellow jackets swarmed in quickly. 

A few yards away, the pool sweeper hissed and spit water onto the patio. I worried this might hamper the rescue but there was no way to turn it off.

With the house empty and the yard quiet, I sat in the rescue truck and watched and waited, and listened for birds to alarm. About every 15 minutes I'd check the trap from a distance. Nothing.

By 10:40 there'd been no sign of the cat and it had grown uncomfortably hot. I packed up the trap and headed down the long wooded driveway, and of course, there was the bobcat. It skirted in front of the truck and stared as I drove by, slowly. 

I went to the bottom of the driveway and turned around. As I headed back up the hill, the cat had made its way closer to the path that led to the backyard. 

I rushed to get the trap set, then back to the truck before being seen.

Too late! 

As I rounded the truck to jump in the driver's seat, there it was, some 30 yards away on the edge of the driveway - stationary, staring at me. 

I got in the truck and closed the door quietly. The cat disappeared into the bushes, headed in the right direction. Out of sight, I hopped back out and ran to the backyard through another gate on the opposite side of the pool. 

Finally she appeared. This poor bobcat. So emaciated, so covered in mange. Heartbreaking. And we probably did this to her.






As she walked to the edge of the pool, the skimmer gurgled and spit water - she barely reacted. She was driven by incredible thirst.

Animals that consume poisoned rodents - rodents that have eaten bait containing anticoagulants, receive a dose of the poison. One poison-laced mouse might not be enough to kill a healthy bobcat, but, these powerful agents build up in an animal's organs, and, after a certain point, the immune system is compromised and the anticoagulants cause internal hemorrhaging. Blood loss then triggers intense thirst. 

From across the pool I documented the bobcat as she drank, and drank, and drank. 

After about 10 minutes, she shook her wet paws and started to walk towards the trap. I thought for sure she'd notice the food, but, she didn't even look at it. She walked right by the trap, climbed a wall, and settled in a patch of sunlight to groom herself. 

So disappointing. I thought for sure I'd need to return with live bait to catch her attention. 

After about 15 minutes I decided to try and get some footage of her resting. When she wasn't looking, I positioned myself directly across the pool from where she was. 

The poor thing - she was in such bad shape, and it was so frustrating - she was right there, but I couldn't get her. The huntress in me was thinking of all the ways I might try to capture her, but none was as sure as the trap. I needed to keep hold of patience and hope. 

After a few minutes she became a bit restless and then, to my surprise, she got up and hopped back down the wall, presumably for more water - then she noticed the food in the trap.

I felt a rush of adrenaline as she approached the trap and started working the side of the cage with her claws, desperately trying to get at the chicken breast. My heart was racing. Then I got shot with a spray from the stupid pool skimmer.  

The bobcat kept working the side of the cage as yellow jackets buzzed her face. I worried she'd trip the door. 

Finally, annoyed with the wasps, she made her way around to the front of the trap and, without any hesitation, walked right in and tripped the pedal. Done. 





I grabbed a bed sheet from the truck and covered the trap to carry her to the rescue truck. She was calm. Not a good sign.

It was about an hour's drive to the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley where she would receive expert care. 

They took her weight - she was just over 8 pounds, and, in spite of it being an extremely hot day, her temperature was only 98.

She died Friday afternoon. 

This once beautiful thriving feline queen of the woodlands was brought to nothing but bones and fur and flesh - her wild life slowly faded as she suffered horribly in her final days, gripping to precious life, and we probably did this to her.

If this story saddens you - if you feel anger or outrage, allow your emotions to empower you - to move you to action. Arm yourself with facts about rodenticides (some links below), be ready to take a stance - be ready to speak up and speak out because we are headed for battle. We are going to outlaw anticoagulant rodenticides - we must!

We will be sending her body to UC Davis for a necropsy to determine the cause of death and what poisons may have contributed to her demise. If you want to donate specifically to anticoagulant testing or our efforts to ban anticoagulant rodenticides, click HERE. And thank you!


Why Poisons Matter

Updated info

EPA's 2008 Risk Mitigation Doc 

Poisons Still For Sale

List of research studies


Map of bobcats reported to WES. ORANGE = suffering from mange, BLACK = suffering from mange and captured, BLUE = observed healthy, GREEN = captured, treated for mange and AR exposure and released.





Sep 10, 2017

Skunk caught in 2 rat traps



This is certainly one for the record books - a skunk caught in - not one, but two rat traps.

A growing problem since the invention of the "new and improved" rat and mouse snap traps with serrated jaws. 

Unlike the the old fashioned smooth-edged snap traps that larger animals could slip out of, these newer traps have a stronger grip and "teeth" that make it impossible for animals to escape.

This young skunk ventured into a yard that had snap traps set outdoors by a barbecue grill that rats had been attracted to. Drawn by the smell of the grill or the rodents or the peanut butter bait, this poor skunk got both its front paws caught  - just a horrible accident and so avoidable.





Snap traps are not intended for use outdoors without being inside a protective case to prevent other animals from caught and injured. Unfortunately, as was the case in this situation, there was nothing on the packaging or in the instructions warning the consumer of the potential risk to other animals and the precautions necessary to avoid something like this from happening.


WES is petitioning the manufacturers of these types of traps for better labeling so accidents like this one - which could cost this skunk its life, don't happen.

Clearly preventable!

Please, add your voice, here:

https://www.change.org/p/calling-for-better-labeling-on-rat-traps-to-protect-pets-and-wildlife










Aug 20, 2017

Another skunk with its head stuck in a Yoplait container


Late last night we were forwarded a call from our local animal shelter. A skunk was found in someone's backyard - it's head stuck in a Yoplait yogurt container. 

Unfortunately this is not uncommon.

Check out the rescue video:



We started a petition - if you have not added your voice, please do so, now, HERE. The official website is HERE.

Aug 19, 2017

Tame bobcat found in Hollister



For about 6 weeks, our San Benito County branch has been receiving calls about a bobcat wandering through yards in the quiet community of Ridgemark. Deanna Barth, who heads up the wildlife rescue efforts in Hollister, said the reports started coming on June 25th.

Reports ranged from mere observations to stories of it drinking water from someone's pool. These sightings didn’t seem out of the ordinary. Deanna responded by educating the reporting parties on methods of hazing to scare the wild cat off - which works on truly wild animals. But, then the reports started to get a little peculiar. 

One person reported the cat entered their home through an open sliding glass door while they were showering. They were understandably surprised to see it sitting in their bedroom. Another party described it following them and at one point “leg-rubbing”, as cats will do - but not wild bobcats.

Once we received reports of the bobcat acting as if it were imprinted or tame, we organized a capture effort. It was as much for the cat’s safety as it was for the residents. Most of the reporting parties were unsettled by their encounter with the feline - it was only a matter of time before something bad happened.

Last night Deanna Barth headed up rescue efforts. She was joined by the groups founder, Rebecca Dmytryk.

After canvassing the area off Sonny's Lane, where the cat was most often encountered, they walked the south service road. 

Just after sunset, they spotted the bobcat in the adjacent field, peeking out of the tall grass. 

Then they did something these wildlife capture experts never do when pursuing injured or ill bobcats - they started calling “Kitty, kitty, kitty!”. 

Sure enough, the bobcat responded. Deanna instinctively walked away, leading it into one of the open backyards it frequented. 

The cat bounded into the yard, and then out the side yard to the street where the rescue vehicle was parked.

Dmytryk was there with options of treats to test the cat - to see what they might use to lure it into a carrier.


The cat responded by approaching and sniffing the offerings, but quickly became disinterested. It walked off toward the golf course. Deanna trailed it.

Finally, on a walking path, Deanna used a cat toy on a string to get the cat's attention focused while Dmytryk stood in wait with a large hoop net. The capture and containment went smoothly. 



The cat will be observed for a few days while possible permanent placement in a sanctuary is found. While it appears to be a bobcat, there are some features - the eyes and coat that aren't quite right. WES will be looking into a DNA test.

In the meantime, the group is seeking information on the cat’s history, when and where it was first observed by residents. They are hoping to find where it came from. Anyone with information or who had an encounter with the email the detail to admin@wildlifeservices.org.




Aug 12, 2017

Help Protect Wildlife From Rat Traps - sign the petition!





Sign the petition now, HERE.

This week we had 5 calls from the Santa Cruz County area about skunks caught in rat traps.

Over the years we've seen an increase in the number of incidents involving larger animals caught in the newer rat traps - the ones with serrated jaws. HERE is news coverage from couple of years ago.





These traps are especially dangerous because the interlocking teeth make "escape virtually impossible" for rodents, as well as larger animals. 
While snap traps are not meant to be placed outdoors, unprotected, where they pose a serious risk to other animals, the labeling and directions on use are not clear enough. We're hoping to change that.
Back in 2014, WES reached out to Bell Laboratories, the manufacturer of the brand of traps we were finding. We asked them to consider adding warning labels to help reduce the number of non-target wildlife injuries. They said they'd look into it.
That same year, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company acquired Tomcat, the consumer brand of rodent traps manufactured by Bell Laboratories.
Time went by and more and more animals were injured by these spring-loaded traps, including wild birds, and deer!
In March 2016, WES contacted Bell Laboratories again, and Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, asking them to add a distinct warning label to packaging and include safety precautions specific to wildlife, pets and children in marketing sell sheets, instructions, and in training material for industry professionals.
Bell Laboratories made changes to their products' web page and sell sheet, clarifying non-target exposure and how it can be prevented. See the changes, HERE

While we appreciate the steps taken by Bell Laboratories, we'd like to see them help protect pets and wildlife by doing more.
Join us in asking Bell Laboratories and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, leading manufacturers of these types of rat traps, to add warning labels and precautionary statements to product packaging, instructions on use and promotional material, including videos, and require distributors to also display warnings on outdoor use where these products are sold - in stores and online.
Please sign the petition and share:

Thank you!


Aug 11, 2017

Baby raccoon in a storm drain - with mom


We responded to a call last night about a baby raccoon in a storm drain near Cabrillo College. The reporting party said they'd heard it earlier, that morning. They also indicated there might have been two babies, at one point.

We arrived on scene at about 9:30 pm. We could see a young "teenage" raccoon looking up from one of the drain pipes - very vocal, crying for mom... and then all of a sudden the mother popped up from the other side and growled a warning. 

Check out the video.




Raccoons tend to have multiple den sites and will often move their young from one site to another if they feel their young are in danger. 

For more on the fascinating raccoon, watch Raccoon Nation. Find the full Nature episode, HERE.





Jun 22, 2017

Oakland Fire saves entangled osprey

by Rebecca Dmytryk




I was headed home from Lake Tahoe where, the night before, I'd given our presentation Living With Wildlife to a crowd of about 100 locals. I was passing through Berkeley when I received word about a fledgling osprey that was tangled in debris in its nest at the Port of Oakland. 

Local birders monitoring the nest had first noticed the bird was in trouble on Tuesday. They were waiting on the Port of Oakland and US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for assistance.

I reached out to Tony Brake who was working with Wendy Parfrey, an Alameda Fish and Wildlife Commissioner, who had been monitoring this particular nest - the Oakland Middle Harbor Nest. (More on the Bay Area ospreys, HERE.)

Tony gave me a rundown of the history. The osprey pair was first observed at the nest on February 26th. Incubation began on March 25th, with hatching confirmed on April 30th.

All seemed well - the chicks were developing and starting to fly, when, on  June 20th, Wendy observed one of the fledglings was in trouble - it appeared “tethered” to the nest by some sort of line. 

On June 21st, Tony confirmed the chick was still caught. That's when Wendy attempted to contact Port staff and reached out to the USFWS. Tony also contacted Anne Ardillo who had helped arrange the rescue of a similarly trapped osprey nestling on a crane in the Port of Richmond in 2014. In turn, Anne reached out to WES.

The nest was atop a light post inside the 7th Street Terminal. You could get a view of it from Port View Park. I asked Tony to meet me there.

In the meantime, I contacted the USFWS to be sure they knew what we were up to. Our USFWS permit allows us to rescue imperiled migratory birds - I just needed to notify an agent. Check.

Next, I left a message for someone at the Port of Oakland, but decided not to wait for a callback before moving forward...

We needed a lift... hmmmm... We have had excellent response from local Fire when faced with difficult, technical rescues requiring a ladder, so, I called Oakland Fire to see if they'd be willing to help.

"I'm sorry - a WHAT?"

"An osprey - it's like a fish eagle."

"Okay, hold on a minute,..."

A minute or so later, Oakland Fire T3 was on the way! (THANK YOU!!!!!!)




I met with the crew to go over the rescue plan and contingencies. One of the most important things - don't just cut the line. In cases where birds are entangled, it's not enough to free them, all the material around their legs, feet, body, must be removed. If there is a serious injury, the bird will need to be taken to a local wildlife hospital.

With that, the crew made contact with Port Security to gain access into the terminal, and within minutes they were raising the ladder toward the nest. The parent ospreys and two siblings circled above.




As the ladder approached, the young osprey tried to fly but was clearly caught by the leg by some sort of material. After a closer look, Lt. Jessel knew the bird needed medical treatment - the line had cut into the leg, deeply. He snipped the material and carried the bird down the ladder where Tony and I met him with an animal carrier.

Tony transported the bird to WildCare in Marin (THANK YOU, TONY!!!). 

There, it received immediate attention. The line had cut deeply. According to WildCare medical staff, the bird is in guarded condition and will likely be in rehabilitation for two weeks.

Stay tuned.


Photo Credit WildCare.










May 9, 2017

5 baby raccoons dumped

5-9-17

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FIVE NEWBORN RACCOONS DUMPED AT PARK IN GILROY

$1,000.00 REWARD BEING OFFERED

On Sunday evening around 7:00 PM, at the Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy, a family witnessed an adult male pull a humane trap from the trunk of his car. It contained 5 newborn raccoons. 

He then dumped the raccoons in the grass between the entry parking lot and the creek.

We are offering a $1,000.00 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible.

The man indicated he lived a couple of miles away from the park. Does anyone know who this person is? If so, contact us - anonymously if you choose, at admin@wildlifeservices.org.





Amazingly, the baby raccoons survived the night without their mother, without food or shelter, exposed to the elements. They were rescued by Native Animal Rescue and transferred to the SPCA of Monterey County where they are being cared for.








May 8, 2017

Orphaned coyote pups





Last Thursday, Almaden resident Chuck Rossi contacted a local wildlife hospital about 5 coyote pups in a den on his hillside property. He and his family had been keeping a close eye on the coyote mom and her pups using a security camera turned "coyote cam". That's how they knew, for sure, the mother had not returned since the night before. Check out the mom feeding her pups, HERE.

That same morning, a female coyote had been found dead about a half a mile away on Alameda Expressway, presumably struck by a vehicle. As time went on, it became clear, this was the mother coyote.

The natal den was a small space that had been excavated under large boulders on a wooded hillside between homes. The den went back under the boulder about eight feet and had 4 separate entrances.

After initial attempts to extract the pups were unsuccessful, WES was called to help.

We didn't want to take the pups into captivity if they had a chance to grow up wild, so we reached out to a biologist who studies urban coyotes in the Los Angeles area. According to his research, other adult members of a pack will sometimes help raise the pups, but, since there hadn't been any "helper" coyotes in the area, the only chance for these pups would be in the care of humans.

Early Friday morning, WES responders placed a large dog trap baited with dead mice, just outside the den entrance. The trap was modified so it could be triggered manually. 





The pups were so frightened, though, they stayed close to the den's entrance and didn't venture deep enough into the trap.

On the third night without their mom, one pup, desperate for food, did explore the trap and was captured, but the rest stayed together under the boulder. It was transferred to the wildlife hospital. 

By the next day - Sunday, the situation was dire. The pups had not eaten much of the food slurry that was left for them. Time was running out...

We arrived on scene at about 6:30 PM. First we tried to encourage the pups out into the open by making noises at the back of the den. When that didn't work, they started to dig out the front entrance.

At one point, at least two of the pups could be seen, but then they tucked themselves deeper under the boulder and out of sight.  




Finally, while working all the entrances to the den, Duane saw one of the pups through a small opening. He caught hold of it with grabbers but it wouldn't fit through the hole. Using a crowbar he was able to dislodge a large rock and lift the pup to safety. Check out the video below.





The team continued working, well into dark, digging out the den, using flashlights and scopes, but the pups stayed hidden. Just as they were starting to lose hope of finding the pups, the resident brought out a small thermal imaging device that could detect a heat signature. 

Amazingly, it showed exactly where the pups were hiding - up and to the right. 

Duane squeezed himself into the den as far as he could go, and, using a makeshift noose, he was able to snare two of the pups. The fourth was caught by hand as it was trying to leave from one of the back entrances.




The pups were immediately transferred to the wildlife center where they received fluids for severe dehydration. They are expected to recover and be set free when they are able to survive on their own.

Thank you to everyone who helped in this rescue, most especially the Rossi family who took such extraordinary measures to help these beautiful creatures.