Photo by Volunteer Photographer David Staff

Living with Wildlife

Earth is home to a diverse array of wildlife.  We often think of our homes, neighborhoods, and cities as places that belong to ourselves, but in reality, we’re borrowing those areas from the wildlife that once lived there.

While some animals have been displaced by human development, others have adapted to living in our cities and neighborhoods.  Below are tips and resources for living peacefully with our wildlife neighbors.

Minimize Animal Disturbances around Your Home

  • Securely store your garbage and recycling, keeping it indoors if possible.
  • Keep pet food and water indoors, and clean up after cooking or eating outdoors.
  • Replace broken or rotted boards around your home and deck.
  • Seal openings around decks, porches, foundations, and attic vents with strong wire mesh.
  • Install and maintain chimney caps.
  • More on how to prevent problems before they start

Enjoy Wildlife When Visiting Natural Areas

  • Respect wildlife by observing them quietly from a distance. Use binoculars or a camera lens for a closer look.
  • Never feed wild animals. Keep all food and trash properly contained.
  • Always keep your pets on a leash and pick up after them. This keeps you, your pets, and wildlife, safe from attacks and the spread of disease.

Infant, Injured, and Nuisance Wildlife

For help with found animals, common wildlife problems, identifying animals, finding local wildlife rehabilitators, and more, visit

All Illinois wildlife is protected by law (with the exception of a few non-native species from Europe).  Handling or trapping wildlife requires a permit issued by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources: Conservation law, permits for trapping nuisance wildlife, and more.

The Macon County Conservation District is NOT equipped to accept injured or infant wildlife. 

Instead, find answers and help at