Under the Quilt

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Monday, June 05, 2006

Rocky the Raccoon

Sorry to keep everyone in suspense. ;) So, for the big news that I promised.

Saturday afternoon I was outside with Jesse preparing to film her (I guess that would be old school since there is no "film" involved with digital recorders) playing with a hula hoop. The neighbor is driving out of her driveway, stops, and calls over to us, "Hey, Jesse! There's a baby raccoon over here!" Of course, she immediately ran down the hill to see. I followed (video camera still in hand) and captured a few moments on "film" before we got caught up in the moment. Our neighbor is an animal lover as is Jesse. So they were marveling at how cute, sweet, pitiful, and helpless this little creature was. I was too but not to the same extent. We were looking around in the bushes and tree trunks nearby to see if there were any signs of a parent. Noone around and this was in the middle of the day. Raccoons are nocturnal so we figured this little guy would not be out wandering around (not really wandering but rather wobbling as he seemed frail and bewildered) without his mommy during daytime. Our nature loving neighbor asked if we wanted to take him in since it seemed like he was left on his own (for whatever reason...mom died maybe?). Of course, Jesse looks up at me with those big, blue puppy dog eyes that are pleading, "Please, please, please. I'll do whatever you say. I'll clean my room. I'll scrub the floors. I'll serve you breakfast in bed for the rest of your life." I said, "I don't usually like to intervene with nature." You know, natural selection and all. But then again, this little guy was probably going to die if someone didn't "intervene with nature". So guess what? We now had a wild animal in our house. First dillema.....what do you feed a baby raccoon who seemed to be too young to be weaned from his momma? We googled and found an excellent website about orphaned coons. It had everything from a homemade formula recipe to when to wean them off the bottle to how to get them to fend for themselves and go back to the wild. So for the time being we decided this little guy needed some grub. I head to the store (at 10:00 at night) to buy raccoon formula ingredients. Never thought I would have to make a coon run (ice cream run, yes, coon, no). He was SO happy when he got the first taste of that concoction. It took us 2 1/2 days to find someone that takes in orphaned raccoons. So for those 2 1/2 days, Jesse got to play "mom" to this baby. She was in heaven. Not once did we have to suggest that she check to see if he needed to eat. As soon as he would start making noise in his cage, she was right there to offer him some food. Did you know that baby coons need their mom to "stimulate" them to have a bowel movement? We found this out from that great website. Jesse was not too thrilled about this part, but she stuck it out like a trooper. Basically you take a soft, wet cloth (we used paper towels) and rub their anus to get them to go poo.

This evening we drove "Rocky" to the orphan ladies home to give him a better chance at successfully being released back to the wild. Jesse was not happy about it, but she understood that he would be better off with someone who knows exactly what he needs. She explained that she doesn't release them when they are a certain age, but rather when their behaviors show her that they are ready. They have to successfully hunt for fish, frogs, and other various critters before she gives them the thumbs up. We asked if it would be possible if he could be released back onto our property when the time comes. She said she'd have to come check out the location and make sure it had enough of a natural setting to be suitable. It might be since we have a swamp and woods nearby. She's supposed to keep in contact to let us know how he's doing. So if we get any Rocky updates, I'll be sure to pass them on.


Here's the cute little bugger. He is only 5 weeks old.

17 Comments:

  • At 2:16 AM , Blogger mtcutie said...

    Awww... the picture doest work!! :(

    mt

     
  • At 2:30 AM , Blogger mtcutie said...

    Hey Roxanne,

    I came across 2 baby raccoons a few years ago and was able to take these pics of them. When we tried to get near them they took off and ran to the roof of my neighbor’s house. It looked like they were stuck up in the drain pipe for a while but they got down eventually and ran away.

    racoon 1
    racoon 2
    racoon 3
    racoon 4
    racoon video

    I hope these pictures and video work?
    mt

     
  • At 2:52 AM , Blogger Bearette24 said...

    I can't see the picture either. But it sure sounds cute.

     
  • At 10:02 AM , Blogger Roxanne said...

    That's weird. I can see it when I pull up my blog, but I'll see if hubby can help me. If you want you can go to my family picture address at photos.yahoo.com/jfern72.

     
  • At 10:33 AM , Blogger His suzy said...

    What a little cutie! Sounds like you all did the right thing for him. It would be wonderful if he can be released back onto your property, but keep a safe distance if he is. Wild raccoons can be nasty and they are definitely strong! Maybe your daughter is a vet in the making. ;)

     
  • At 10:42 AM , Blogger Roxanne said...

    Yeah, we know about the whole wild animal part. That's why I was so hesitant to take him in. I like to keep nature in nature. But he was so helpless and pitiful that we figured he would die if we didn't do anything. And, yes, he WILL be big and strong when the time comes for him to go back. It'll be fun to watch from a distance if we get the chance.

    Our daughter is wanting to either be a vet, a lawyer, or the first woman president. :) We had a discussion about it the other day. She wants to become president so that she can change all the laws for wild animal protection. And the environment. I love her. :)

     
  • At 11:22 AM , Blogger alley_cat said...

    I can't see the pics. But I just wanted to stop by and say that hubby is very good about work sharing - normally. It's just that his list of to-dos only has spend time with kids, put them to bed and my would have all that and dishes, laundry (4 zillion loads), kill fire ants, mop floor, pack shit for tomorrow, and on & on. LOL - we do it to ourselves I guess.

    Racoons can be carriers of rabies so they freak me out. Cute to look at but I don't want to get anywhere near them - a phobia, I suppose.

    AL

     
  • At 11:24 AM , Blogger Bearette24 said...

    Aww...that's sweet :) I got to the picture page. I like the one with the eyedropper.

     
  • At 11:25 AM , Blogger Bearette24 said...

    Sweet about the wild animal protection, I mean...I saw Roxanne's comment but not Alley Cat's at first.

     
  • At 8:11 PM , Blogger Mr. DUDE MAN said...

    What is your email? I'd like to share some stuff with you rox. It's about some stuff that I deleted on my blog awhile back.

     
  • At 1:01 PM , Blogger Liz said...

    That is so cute. I love people who love animals. :)

    A co-worker of mine rescued a baby raccoon last year, but she kept it (illegally, I think) and still has it...

     
  • At 3:27 PM , Anonymous Lessie said...

    I had a mama raccoon and 3 babies come through my cat door one night to eat my kitties' cat food! I was reading about 1 a.m. and heard a strange chomping noise...

     
  • At 10:38 PM , Blogger Roxanne said...

    Lessie-we had a skunk that used to come through the cat door to come eat the cat food. We moved the food upstairs right outside our bedroom only to discover the skunk decided it was worth the trek up the stairs for a little treat! I just stayed in bed, frozen, and luckily the skunk left with no "incident" when it was done eating.

     
  • At 6:20 AM , Blogger Invader Stu said...

    That is really cute. I always wanted to take little animals home when I was a little boy.

    I loved squirrels the most.

     
  • At 5:43 PM , Blogger mtcutie said...

    email me, i'll help ya!
    marisatavares@rogers.com
    mt

     
  • At 6:09 PM , Anonymous Lynsey said...

    The picture didn't come up. I would love to see it though. Thanks for your nice words. I forgot about your blog and now I'm going to have to come visit more often. I really like the "I snuck a picture". Cute!

    ~Lynsey

     
  • At 6:12 PM , Anonymous Lynsey said...

    Marisa--I'm digging the racoon pictures. I can't belive Roxanne, you took a racoon in. You are so brave. And very loving to do that!!! Go you!

     

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