Dead Wildlife on My Property

Occasionally people find a dead animal or bird on their property. Dead wildlife should be removed as soon as possible. Wear disposable gloves while handling the carcass, double-bag it if it’s going into a garbage can, and wash your hands thoroughly with hot, soapy water afterwards.

If you plan to bury the animal, the hole should be at least two and a half feet deep (there should be at least 6 inches of compacted soil covering the carcass). If you do not know where the underground utility facilities (power, phone, and gas lines) are located on your property, call JULIE before you dig 8-1-1. The location you choose should be at least 200 feet from any supply of surface water or groundwater to avoid contamination of the water supply.

If you find multiple dead animals or birds, CONTACT the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. On the online form, note what kind of animal it is (if known), the number of animals, and the location.

Without testing the carcasses, it is usually not possible to diagnose what caused the die-off. If the animals are not needed for testing, they can be disposed of in the garbage following the guidelines above.