ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois is native to various wild animals like raccoons, squirrels, foxes, skunks, and rabbits. All of which are known to sneak onto properties and become a nuisance. Before trying to kill the animal, you should consider whether it is legal to do so.

According to Illinois law, property owners are required to receive a Nuisance Animal Removal Permit (PDF) through the state’s Department of Natural Resources.

Following an inspection, animal removal permits will be sent out if the IDNR can determine that an animal, “has caused substantial property damage or if there is a serious public health or safety concern,” according to their website.

There is a long list of nuisance animals in Illinois that do require permits to handle including raccoons, skunks, squirrels, bats, foxes, and coyotes. For the full list of protected wildlife, click here.

There are other animals that are not protected by law in Illinois like rats and mice, chipmunks, and pigeons to name a few. For the full list of unprotected wildlife, click here.

The IDNR says prior to handling wildlife removal, know there are multiple reasons it can be more convenient to hire a professional. To view their reasoning, click here.

Before considering any action regarding wildlife, refer to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and be sure you are not violating any laws.