It's a popular myth that the animal
that is a nuisance on your property can simply be "relocated." It
sounds easy enough and one would think that it might be the best
for property owner and nuisance animal. However, it's rare that
relocated animals have a good chance of survival, and moving them
may even affect the survival of animals in their new "home."
- Relocation can be stressful to wild animals. They may
experience elevated heart rates and breathing rates, high blood
pressure, acute changes in blood chemistry and depressed appetites.
These factors in turn may make them more vulnerable to disease or
- Relocated animals have no prior experience with their new homes
which immediately puts them at a disadvantage in finding food and
shelter. Most animals that cause problems are common and
widespread, such as fox, opossum, and raccoon. That means that
almost all areas that could be places to relocate nuisance animals
already have established populations of those animals.
- Animals released in a new territory lack the local knowledge to
fit in with existing animal hierarchies. They risk fights with
resident animals and exclusion from feeding areas and den
- Releasing animals may help spread disease. Just as we humans
spread disease among our populations by traveling, animals can
bring diseases into new areas when they are relocated, thus
impacting the resident animal populations.
- A relocation site may not have all the basic needs for the
animal to site. Although the site may look suitable to us, it may
lack proper food or shelter.
- The combination of the previous factors often caused animals to
leave the release area. The animal may aimlessly wander for miles,
and is accountable for high mortality in released animals.
In summary, relocation sounds appealing, but it is tough on the
transported animals and can have negative impacts on the animal
populations where they are released. Our goal is to co-exist with
Florida's wild animals and we owe it to them to seek low stress and
hopefully non-lethal solution to nuisance animal problems. Usually,
that means modifying our own behavior.
All live-captured bobcats must be released. Other
live-captured nuisance wildlife must be released or euthanized
within 24 hours of capture or trap inspection. In addition,
nuisance wildlife may be transported and released at an off-site
location that is within the county of capture and a minimum of 40
contiguous acres if the animal is a native species; the releaser
has written permission from the owner of the release site; and the
transportation of the wildlife does not violate any rabies alert or
area quarantine issued by a county health department or county
More information nuisance wildlife is available on our Wildlife