Raccoon Mommy For a Day!
The strangest thing happened to me last week. After running an errand and returning to my car, a couple of people flagged me down. They implored me to look on top of my car where they had spotted what they thought was a dead animal. They’d written a note, but were anxiously awaiting my return so they could point the animal out. What the now small group of onlookers and I found was a badly injured baby…something. An opossum? A raccoon? What else?
I wrapped the tiny animal in a towel, hurried home, tended to its wounds–it had a big gash on its side, cuts on its back, and a broken tail, filled a box with rags, swaddled it, and got on the internet.
The baby–now I knew what it was–raccoon was so young, its eyes weren’t open yet. I rushed to a pet store where I picked up a teeny, tiny bottle and KMR, special formula to feed orphaned kittens, but the raccoon wouldn’t eat. It needed help, but who to call? My vet? Doubtful. The local zoo? Nope. The site for NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife lists people who rescue animals and, about ten calls later, I reached Suzanne at Woodlands Wildlife Refuge in Pittstown, NJ. She had room for the little guy. Bingo!
The mission of Woodlands Wildlife Refuge is the care and release of orphanedand injured native wildlifeback to their natural habitat. We also provide educational programs about the habits and habitats of our local wildlife. Woodlands is a NJ state licensed wildlife rehabilitation facility and is a non-profit 501(C)(3) charitable corporation. Woodlands receives no state or federal funding.
Woodlands Wildlife Refuge cares for over 1,000 animals annually. As our communities continue to grow, and loss of habitat continues, the number of human/wildlife encounters increase. We are dedicated to keeping up with the needs of our communities and our wild neighbors. Woodlands cares for hundreds of animals a year, and enjoys a high success rate of release. Some of the animals Woodlands provides care for include raccoons, skunks, opossums, rabbits, woodchucks, foxes, squirrels, coyotes, bats, otters, porcupines, bears, venomous snakes, and even the occasional bobcat.
Woodlands has a staff of highly trained volunteers who care for the animals until their release. The doctors and staff at the Animal Hospital of Clinton-Perryville and Voorhees Corner Veterinary Clinic generously treat animals needing more extensive care such as X-rays, fracture repair or surgery. All animals are maintained until they are healthy enough to survive in the wild.
While I drove to Pittstown, the swaddled newborn took a couple of naps when it nestled its nose close to my skin. I’ve called to check up, but it was touch and go since the little guy wasn’t eating on his own. I’ll call again in a few days and let you know what happens. 😦
Sad update: The little guy didn’t make it. At least, he was in good hands figuratively and literally.
Sources: Woodlands Wildlife Refuge, The ARC-Animal Rehabilitation Center