From early spring to late fall is the birthing season for wild mammals. New mothers are often out during the day to search for food while their babies sleep. We've all heard it said that a nocturnal animal out during the day must be sick, possibly with rabies, this is not necessarily true!
Nocturnal Animals out During the Day
If you see a skunk, raccoon or opossum out during the day, watch it for a while. If it seems healthy, and shows no signs of injury, just keep your distance and enjoy. It's probably a mom, taking advantage of her babies' naptime to get some food for herself and her young. She can't leave them during the nighttime hours when they're awake. They wouldn't be safe. So she waits until they settle in for sleep in the daytime, and she slips out.
Give a wild animal the benefit of the doubt. A call to the authorities just because the animal is out during the day might result in that animal being euthanized. If it's a mom, that will also result in the deaths of her young from starvation, exposure, or attack by predators.
If you see a night animal during the day, and notice that it's injured, call Willowbrook Wildlife Center at 630-942-6200 for advice.
If any animal, either wild or domestic, is acting strangely, is lethargic, partially paralyzed, having trouble walking, or is obviously aggressive, then a call to the authorities is a good idea.
Tips to Remember
Be Careful: Never approach a wild animal and make sure that your garbage is secure.
Be Smart: Have your cats and dogs inoculated against rabies and don't feed them outdoors.
Be Aware: Day traveling raccoons and skunks are most likely not rabid.
Be Compassionate: It's tough enough for wild animal mothers to raise their babies.