They are some of Alberta’s spookiest creatures. Bats and owls have become iconic Halloween wildlife. But some may inadvertently be becoming part of the display.
Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society is currently over-wintering three bats, considered endangered species in Alberta.
While they can’t say for sure how the animals were hurt, they’re warning homeowners after responding to help rescue a number of animals caught up in fake webbing strung up on homes and trees around Calgary.
“They’re problematic for various species, mostly birds, potentially bats and even deer, especially at this time of year when they’re in rut,” said Melanie Whalen, director of care and services at CWRS.
CWRS also cautions against string lights and other bright lights, which can disorient migrating birds.
There’s also the alfresco dining opportunities, like pumpkins left out overnight.
“Any time you have food outside, if you have fruit on trees or pumpkins on the step, that could potentially attract wildlife that you don’t want,” Whalen said.
The pumpkins can attract skunks, raccoons and deer — and even bears can be drawn to a pre-hibernation jack-o’-lantern feast.
And it’s not just wildlife at risk. There are also a number of goodies that kids gather and bring into homes every year that can be harmful to pets.
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Chocolate is the most obvious hazard, although most milk chocolate has little cocoa. But little dogs feasting on dark chocolate can be a big problem.
“They just don’t metabolize it the same way that we do,” said Joe Waldman, a veterinarian at Calgary’s Animal Clinic. “In their body, it can cause pretty intense agitation, shaking, restlessness, seizures, or even death in some cases.”
Raisins and some sweeteners in candies and gum can also be dangerous, as can potato chip wrappers.
“Once in a while a dog will try to get their snout into a wrapper and if they can’t get it off, unfortunately, they can asphyxiate from that,” Waldman said.
Waldman said if dogs consume a large quantity of candy and seem lethargic, contact an animal care team in order to avoid long-term pancreatic problems.
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