Baby raccoons

While out exploring late one afternoon, one of my fellow exploring friends and I happened across a cardboard box containing three baby raccoons.  I had no idea whether the mother left them there or what, so I let them stay for the time being.  Several hours later, after I had returned home, I related the story to Dani and suggested we take a ride out to check on them.  Here's the story...

This is the cardboard box Mike and I found them in earlier in the day.  One of them had climbed out before we arrived, but I placed him(her?) back in it.

They look docile enough here, but these guys were making a racket!  They have a surprisingly large vocabulary of sounds, and they made many of them very loudly to signal that they really, really wanted to be fed already!

Here's another look at one of them.  We honestly didn't know what kind of animals they were at first.  They looked a little like a cat and/or a dog, but the noises they made didn't fit anything we could think of.

However, the little bit of fur they have starts to show their stripes and the beginnings of their characteristic mask.

Only two remained in the box when I returned with Dani later that night to check on them.  We searched all over, but never could find the other sibling.

We brought the remaining pair home and Dani started looking for information about how to feed them and/or any wildlife rescues and/or rehabilitators that could take them in. 

We tried to feed them according to the information we found, but they weren't ready to take any formula.

It was too late that night, but the next day Dani contacted Bonnie and Ron Forte who routinely (obsessively?) raise raccoons from situations like those of our little guys.

Five weeks later...

Bonnie and Ron nursed the pups along to this impressive stage.  Weather permitting, once they're no longer helpless little pups, they stay in this playpen outdoors and come out for frequent explorations around the Fortes' backyard.

They have since been named Clement and Emmit.


Here's Ron, their primary caregiver at the moment.  Of course, there's plenty of work to go around.  Bonnie was rounding up other animals and getting them indoors while we were visiting since it was about to storm (I brightened the pictures, in case it looks otherwise).

They had two other litters of raccoons inside who were at least as young as our guys were when they arrived.  They also have a number of rehibilitating rabbits in the yard and hospital/shed.

These guys are just starting to explore on their own.  However, they constantly check back in with "Mom" and "Dad" to make sure they aren't too far away.  And if anything spooks them, they come running right back.

Here are the two brothers on top of their playpen.  In a few weeks, they'll be transferred to a much larger pen (7' high filled with lots more toys, branches, and a little pool).

Futher down the line, they'll be released into the wild many miles from here in a much more rural area.

Copyright 2005 wild animAle[x].
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