Don’t Try To Rescue Baby Raccoons!
If there is anything more adorable than a raccoon, then it would be a baby raccoon. During the spring and summer months the Department of Natural Resources gets many phone calls related to baby raccoons, or kits. Many of these calls involve people who have spotted abandon baby raccoons. It is not at all uncommon for well intentioned people to adopt baby raccoons that seem to be abandoned by their mothers. However, the DNR strongly suggests leaving baby raccoons to themselves because they are probably not in any sort of trouble.
It takes a lot of courage to pick up a wild animal and take it back to one’s home, even if the wild animal is only a baby. However, people swiping raccoons from their natural habitats happens all of the time. Unfortunately, picking up baby raccoons in order to care for them probably does the adopted raccoons no good. If you do this then it is more likely that you are kidnapping the raccoon from its real mother; instead of rescuing them from abandonment. Just because a baby raccoon may be alone, that does not mean that it has been abandoned by its mother.
Many of those who adopt a baby raccoon, or more, do so because they spotted a raccoon during the daytime. And since raccoons are nocturnal creatures, many assume that seeing a raccoon during the daytime hours must be a sign that the raccoon needs help. More often than not the raccoons that people spot hopping and climbing around during the day are likely just playing, and are not in any trouble.
According to a professional wildlife rehab expert, it is best for concerned citizens to simply observe the raccoons for a while. If they appear to be sickly, or are crying, then call the nearest animal control units to handle the situation. It is always better to allow someone with the proper training to take care of sick or abandoned animals.
Have you ever spotted a raccoon that you thought needed help? If you have, then how did you respond to the situation?
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