Ray Losnes captures and releases wild animals for a living.

His company, Northeast Wildlife Services in Brooks, responds to wildlife problems at homes in Waldo County and beyond.

Losnes guarantees all his work, which means if he doesn’t capture the unwanted wildlife the first time, he will return to try again. He said an extraction usually doesn’t take more than five days and, often, he is able to trap animals on his first try.

His favorite animals to trap are also the most difficult: bats, because they can fit through a two-inch hole. Bat characteristics, like echolocation, fascinate Losnes.

Capturing animals on his first try is crucial because the animal’s pattern might change, he said, and then he has to work twice as hard on the second approach. He warned it can make the situation worse if people tamper with animals before calling him.

The one-way traps that animals can crawl into but not out of are checked daily. Once he safely traps an animal, he drives it to a place with minimal traffic or human development and releases it.

Time spent hunting, fishing and trapping with his father growing up in Connecticut gave him an appreciation for nature and its creatures. It is where he learned the ethics he practices.

“Nobody should just go around killing the earth’s creatures for no good reason," Losnes said. "They have a right to live, too. Just not in your house.”

After completing culinary school and gaining experience as a chef, he moved to Maine. But he then decided cooking was better as a hobby than a job and began working for one of the state's largest pest removal companies.

Soon after, an international corporation bought it and he said morale declined. Traps he set weren’t being checked on time, risking animals' lives. Upset clients complained about the length of time animals were left in traps.

“Doing low-quality work and charging for top dollar is not acceptable,” Losnes said.

His prices are determined by appraisal of each wildlife situation.

He said appreciation from customers is a big motivation for him.

“The gratitude that I get from people, when I solve someone’s problem that they’ve been living with for a long time — people can be very grateful,” Losnes said. “… And I really form relationships with these people, as I’m solving their problems. And you know, it’s nice.”

Losnes can be reached through his website at northeastwildlifeservices.com.