Thursday, May 30, 2013

Baby Animals, aka There's a Coon in my Van!

So, we had an interesting experience today . . . as we were leaving Woodlawn Nature Center, someone had a raccoon hanging all over him. We'd just been to Ox Bow County Park last night with raccoons boldly hanging around the trash cans, so we could easily tell how tame this young raccoon was by watching him. We asked what he was doing with the raccoon--he thought it would be a good place to drop it off. He knew someone who found "abandoned" babies and had been raising them. He  had the raccoon for just a few days and it was starting to bite. He could no longer care for it. Knowing there shouldn't be a tame raccoon on the property, we started calling rehabilitators in the area, but didn't have anyone answering calls. I finally called the local county parks system, as I knew they have dealt with this issue in the past. They knew someone who accepted any type of animal and how to properly care for them.

See the box . . . that's not just a box in my van--there's a raccoon in there! I couldn't let the raccoon run wild in the van while driving with my younger children. So, into the box he went!

Once we settled down in the office, he started peeking out of the box. I'm glad there are people trained to take care of these animals; however, often situations like this can be prevented. Indiana DNR lists several helpful hints on their website. In general, wild animals should be left in the wild. Most baby animals we encounter have a mother taking care of them nearby. It is best if we leave them alone. Please leave wildlife wild. Thank you!