Gloves. Sure they can be a pain to carry around, putting on and taking off but they are a necessary piece of equipment for the wildlife control operator (WCO) or anyone dealing with wildlife. One of the unfortunate realities in wildlife control is that WCOs can get careless about their safety. Sure, everyone working at a job for a certain length of time begins to cut corners. But I am talking about cutting corners that threaten one’s own safety. I have been disappointed by the number of WCOs who have decided that they would take pictures of themselves holding wildlife without appropriate protection.
Sure it’s macho to grab animals by hand, rather than using a tool like cat graspers or tongs. Sometimes, it is even faster to capture an animal by hand. But one would think that wearing gloves would be at least smart. Granted, most gloves won’t protect people from a bite by a determined animal. But gloves can protect against ineffective bites and scratches. Plus gloves can protect the WCO from coming into contact with ectoparasites and feces contaminated fur.
I wonder how many insurance agents, assuming these WCOs actually have insurance, such as liability or health, are checking on the Facebook pages or other social media posts of their clients. I suspect they aren’t. But I would wager that if they did, these agents would have a chat with their clients or possibly recalculate the insurance premium.
Bottom line. Be safe out there. Don’t get careless. Wear gloves. Your job is already dangerous enough.
Stephen M. Vantassel, CWCP, helps people restore balance with nature through speaking, training, publications, and web access.