HOW TO RELEASE TRAPPED ANIMALS
To release an uninjured animal from a cage trap, the trap should be covered with a sheet or blanket first. The door will need to be propped open. The animals will run out when the covering is pulled off. Check out the videos below:
Before you resort to trapping and removing animals to solve a wildlife problem, consider this:
- Legally trapped nuisance animals must be released on site or immediately killed, under state law.
- All traps must be marked with a number registered with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (Title 14 CCR Section 465.5 f 1).
- Anyone (including licensed trappers) proposing to set a trap within 150 yards of a home, must first acquire written consent from surrounding homeowners (Title 14 CCR Section 465.5 g 3).
- Relocation is prohibited by law - you cannot transport an animal to another location - for good reasons:
The animal will likely die trying to get back "home".
You might be separating an animal from its family.
Most importantly, it will not solve the problem.
- Animals can be severely injured, even in cage traps. See the video to the Left.
- Traps must be inspected and animals removed at least once in 24 hours.
Additionally, there must be cause - damage, before animals can be taken under Fish and Wildlife Code 4152, and then only the animal(s) causing the damage may be taken - non-target animals that are inadvertently trapped must be released unharmed.
For more on trapping laws and regulations, click HERE.
More on why trapping is not the answer
While it's easy to think, if you can get rid of the animal, you'll get rid of the problem, that's just not the case.
When animals are removed, new individuals from the surrounding area move into the vacant habitat. It's a costly, never-ending battle - an outdated practice that serves only the commercial trapper who profits from repeat business.
The intruding animals are not the actual problem, but a symptom - an indication of a greater issue. The long-term answer is to focus on the cause of the intrusion - what's attracting the animal(s).
A variety of species - squirrel, skunk, opossum, fox, raccoon, deer, and coyote live in and around residential neighborhoods because of the year-round abundance of resources - food and shelter. So long as there are food and/or shelter resources, there will be animals attracted to them - and therein lies the key: remove the resources or eliminate the animal's access to them, and the animals will move on to more hospitable habitat. It truly, truly is that simple.