Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Mysterious Case of the Vanishing Raccoon

For those of you who crave a good mystery...

The caller I spoke with over the phone reported that she had seen the neighborhood children in her yard with an animal that turned out to be a baby Raccoon. When she questioned the girl who had it, the girl said it was from her Grandmother’s house. A man came to get the girl and told her to leave the Raccoon, she couldn’t have it. The child and man walked away while the woman tried to ask them about the Raccoon. We always try to re-nest Raccoons, but obviously she had no idea where it came from so she was kind enough to bring it to us from Muskego.

Later that day a man and woman came in with a baby Raccoon. The woman worked at a local veterinarian’s office and one of the vets had brought 2 baby Raccoons in and asked his staff if someone wanted them. They had cared for them for a few days, but now they were going on vacation and didn’t want them anymore. But there was only one baby now. The man was very indignant that someone had stolen one of the babies. I have never had a report of a stolen Raccoon before. He said he kept them on his porch in a kennel cab and one disappeared between feedings. Raccoons are great escape artists and we have had them release themselves from kennel cabs. But a toothless baby was pretty young for such a life of crime and besides, it wouldn’t escape and then lock its sibling in. The man demanded to know if anyone had turned in a baby Raccoon. We admit many baby Raccoons this time of year but no one had “turned one in as missing”.

But- wait.

I checked my admission record for the Raccoon left by the unknown child. Same town. Same street . Hmmm, I think we have a match. When I related parts of the conversation the woman had with the child, the man knew which child she meant from the neighborhood that lived part-time with her Grandmother nearby. The child had watched him feeding the babies earlier and had apparently come back and taken one later. So the siblings were reunited and the mystery solved.

I did explain to the man and woman that it is illegal to keep wild animals (not to mention ill advised unless you enjoy having your home torn up by a wild animal) unless they have the proper licenses from the DNR. They thought because a vet had given the Raccoons to them that it was ok. Even veterinarians must have wildlife rehabilitation or other wildlife licenses to possess wildlife. We will be contacting this veterinarian’s office to educate them on the subject and also to let them know that we are here if they or their clients have wildlife issues.

-Guest Blogger L.R

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