Often the animals I rescue with Freeman Hammock Nets are raccoons and cats. But the versatility of this net can’t be beat. Most people would never believe that heavier animals such as beavers and coyotes can be captured with the lightweight Freeman Hammock Net.
Every day on the job as an animal care and control officer, I encounter animals that need to be captured due to illness and/or injury. When an animal is feeling stressed out, she will have unpredictable behaviour. It is critical to work in a way that keeps both the animal handler and the animal safe from harm.
Before approaching the animal, I always start with a plan. First, I assess where the animal might run to escape and try not to block that exit with my body. This approach helps so that I can work with the animal’s expected escape path by using a net to capture her when she tries to run past. Second, I assess potential hazards that the animal faces and try to create a plan to keep her away from danger. For example, if the animal is near a drop off edge or near water, simply cornering the animal may cause her to panic and dart unexpectedly into danger. In some cases, putting a box nearby provides an option for her to climb into to hide. When it is time to act, I approach very slowly with the opening of the Hammock net facing out at the animal’s level.
Recently, a beaver wandered into a Toronto subway station during the morning rush hour commute. The beaver was at the top of a stopped escalator that led directly to the track platform. I did not want her to go to the track platform and the escalator’s sharp-edged steps were also a concern. I waited for a good 10 minutes for the beaver to make a move, but the beaver stayed on the escalator and then started awkwardly climbing down the steps. I quickly reached over the escalator handrail from the steps and used the Freeman Hammock Net FP-24H to capture her.
The beaver’s sharp teeth and weight might have proved for a challenging rescue. But equipped with this net I managed on my own to rescue the 50-pound mammal from the subway station and transport her to my truck. The dark mesh of the net bag helped to make the beaver feel more secure and calm while in transit. Also the net offered a safer hands-free way to capture and then release the beaver from the net by simply unlocking the cord release. The beaver was relieved to be back in familiar territory. She was released to a river not far from the subway station.
Another animal most people think would be hard to capture with a net is a coyote. In one case, I managed to use the longer handle Freeman Hammock net model FP-36H to contain a coyote that looked sick but was still quite mobile.
In order to make it easier and less stressful for me to capture him, I slowly guided him from a residential neighbourhood into a more confined space between a porch and a wall. The 35-pound coyote was then loaded in the vehicle for transport while he was still safely confined within the Freeman Hammock net. Being able to transport the coyote to a wildlife rehabilitation facility while using the same net he was captured in helped to reduce stress for the coyote and minimized contact. Normally it takes a few people to capture and bring a larger animal to a vehicle, but with the Freeman Hammock net I was able to do this on my own.
The Freeman Hammock Net is the net for safe capture, transport and release of all sorts of animals.