Orphaned Raccoons All Grown Up
Watch these young raccoons return to the wild in the video above! The release team set up the camera, opened
the kennels and then backed off to watch the fun. Once the young raccoons had made their way into the woods,
the team retrieved the kennels. Video by Shelly Ross.
Something bad happened to each of these raccoons while they were still very young, leaving them orphaned last summer.
One of them was found wandering in daylight, dehydrated and covered in ticks. Another was caught by a dog. Two of these raccoons had fallen into a cement mixer at a brick-making factory. Four others were orphaned – so young their umbilical cords were still attached — when a botched eviction separated them from their mother, leaving them alone and desperate.
These little raccoons, from all around Marin County, were lucky they were rescued and brought to WildCare. Dehydrated and thin, they would have quickly perished without our help.
Raising orphaned raccoons is challenging, time consuming and resource-intensive. Four of these babies arrived at WildCare on June 8, 2018. The ones found in the cement mixer arrived on July 6.
These young raccoons returned to the wild on October 23, 2018, when the wonderful video above was taken. That’s almost five months in care!
What do baby raccoons need to grow up strong and healthy?
They need specialized formula when they’re tiny and they need to be fed every four hours around the clock.
As they get older, they need a varied diet to fulfill their nutritional needs, but in small pieces and softened for baby teeth.
Bigger enclosures are necessary once these young animals learn to climb and explore, and food must be hidden throughout the enclosure to teach them to forage and hunt.
At every phase of their development WildCare volunteers and staff work hard to ensure these young animals are healthy, well fed and learning the skills they’ll need to survive in the wild.They also must develop a healthy wariness of humans to be successful once released.
Finally, after months in care, it’s Release Day! The video above was taken by our wonderful Raccoon Foster Care volunteer Shelly Ross. Shelly raises many of our youngest and most vulnerable baby raccoons to healthy adulthood, and she takes wonderful photos of them too!
WildCare still has 13 juvenile raccoons in care! It costs $3.43/day to feed an orphaned baby raccoon. Donate 10, 20 or more raccoon meals today!