Wildlife in Ames

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Baby RobinsThe City of Ames' beautiful parks and greenbelts contain a diverse wildlife population. Farm acres surrounding the city lend support to the notion that Ames will always be a home to wild animals. Commonly seen species are raccoon, woodchucks, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, skunks, roosting birds, bats, snakes, deer, fox, and much more!

Humans and wildlife can co-exist in a safe manner.
Human health is rarely at risk from wildlife habitation in the urban environment. The Ames Animal Shelter is sensitive to the need for human protection should the risk of an epidemic be proclaimed by health and wildlife experts. Although incidents of wildlife biting or attacking humans are rare, it is imperative that ALL animal bites be reported immediately.


  • Wildlife should be left alone, with no attempts made to get close to them.
  • Rescue of perceived orphans should be left to wildlife experts.
  • Avoid contact with bodily fluids and waste of wild animals.
  • Capture and relocation of wildlife should be also left to experts.

Ames Animal Shelter Services are available for wildlife ONLY when animals:

  • are sick or injured
  • pose a threat to human safety
  • cause direct damage to property


When wild creatures get out of hand in the city, it is usually because they have found a comfortable haven. Heavily treed areas, accessible rooftops, compost and woodpiles, open trash storage, rotting wood, bird and pet food left outside, open sheds and garages, are just some examples of attractants.

There are a few simple, long-term solutions to dealing with wild animals. Animal proofing using exclusion tactics such as trimming tree branches out from rooftops, or wide steel bands at the base of trees and posts, can discourage persistent wildlife.

Other deterrent techniques are also readily accessible. A battery-operated radio set to talk stations, household ammonia placed in an open container, or temporary lighting, may all work as effective "not welcome" signs. These deterrents work best when used as soon as wild animals show signs of residency.


When prevention and deterrents are not enough, the Ames Animal Shelter can intervene by live-trapping and relocating wildlife. Residents may purchase their own live traps and can then apply for a free-of-charge legal trapping permit from the Ames Animal Shelter. Other options are also available for contacting animal damage experts and commercial wildlife removal enterprises.

The Ames Animal Shelter also provides free educational materials and information. For access to these materials, please visit the Ames Animal Shelter at 325 Billy Sunday Road in Ames, Iowa, or call 515-239-5530.