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Wild Animals/Droppings found on patio.



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I found the following droppings today on our back patio chair. They were mostly grouped as you can see on the chair and there were a few on the ground around the chair. I live in central Illinois and we have been having an unseasonably warm winter. I found these midday but we haven't been outside much due to some cold days. Thanks for any help you can provide in identifying the culprit! Our children play in this area so I'd be grateful for any advice or links on finding a new home for said culprit.

Dear Leslie

The picture of the close up is a bit blurry.  I can't tell if the poop is elongate or round.  But they appear to be rodent droppings.  Could be almost any type of rodent that you have in the locality, but most likely someone nocturnal.

If you want to trap and relocate the little guy, you can get a Havahart trap like this:

Peanut butter is said to work well for most rodents.  Be sure to release in a well-wooded area with lots of brush and cover.  


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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.


I'm an evolutionary biologist with a passion for animals. Ask about natural history, behavior, ecology, evolution. PLEASE NOTE:

If you have found an "orphaned" or injured wild animal or bird:
Please don't waste time asking questions on the internet, as the answers may come too late. DO NOT FEED THE ANIMAL, and DO NOT HANDLE IT unless it is in imminent danger. (Many wild "orphans" are not orphans at all!) If you are absolutely sure it is orphaned, keep it warm and quiet, and find a LICENSED WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR HERE. Don't try to raise a baby yourself, or rehabilitate an injured anmal. Many a well-intentioned rescuer will do more harm than good, especially with baby birds and baby rabbits.

Without geographic location, time of day and habitat, I can't help. A clear picture is always best.

It's impossible for me to I.D. an animal call without hearing it myself.

I'm not an expert on comparative strengths of different animals (more complicated than you might think!) nor bite forces.

I refuse to answer "Which of these two animals--X or X--would win in a fight?".

These hypothetical matchups range from impossible (Grizzly Bears and Gorillas don't even occupy the same continent.) to ridiculous (Someone asked me "Who would win a fight between a Great White Shark and a tiger?").

The vast majority of animals--even the fierce and powerful--are not as warlike as Homo sapiens, and it's childish to project our aggressiveness onto them.


I have been the fortunate caregiver to a group of Black-tailed Jackrabbits rescued from the Miami International Airport, and not releasable in this area because they are not native. I also have rehabbed and released Eastern Cottontails, and am in contact with many very experienced wildlife rescuers who regularly handle injured or orphaned rabbits and hares.

House Rabbit Society

Exotic DVM journal

I have a Ph.D. in Biology, with main areas of expertise in evolutionary biology, genetics, botany, and ecology.

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