Toledo Talk

Raccoon help?

I have two baby raccoons in my garage attic. I haven't seen the mother in a couple of days. Does anyone know what I can do at this point? I was hoping someone would take them until they could survive on their own but the wildlife sanctuary in Whitehouse does not take raccoons. Any help would be appreciated.

created by 3boyz4m on Aug 15, 2014 at 08:20:27 am     Comments: 17

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Don't screw around with them; they'll bite and they carry rabies along with Baylisascaris, which you can read all about here, in CDC Roundworms.

It's likely that the mother got killed by a car. I suppose you might try a live animal trap, but a .22 pistol works better.

posted by madjack on Aug 15, 2014 at 09:28:07 am     #   3 people liked this

I really hate being put in this position.....

I tied calling one of the critter removal companies. They wanted $200 to locate the raccoons, find the entrance, and some other unnecessary stuff. They then wanted an additional $75 apiece for each raccoon they take. I told them I already know how they got in, the raccoons can be seen so a they only need to be picked up. She wouldn't budge off the $200. I personally just can't kill an animal.......

posted by 3boyz4m on Aug 15, 2014 at 09:40:16 am     #  

Start with chipmunks and work your way up.

posted by justread on Aug 15, 2014 at 09:41:36 am     #   2 people liked this

This site has information on determining the age of a raccoon. Somewhere between 4 and 6 months of age raccoons are old enough to survive on their own.

Keep in mind that just because you do not see the mother does not mean the mother is gone. Raccoons develop the nocturnal behavior around one year of age, so mom and babies might be on different schedules, or the mother might happen to be foraging while you check on the kittens.

Do the kittens appear to be in distress, 3boyz4m?

posted by historymike on Aug 15, 2014 at 10:05:24 am     #  

My method of chippie population reduction is to make 'em walk the plank. A container of water almost to the brim with sunflower seeds floating on top with a walkway leaned against it. They have never had swimming lessons. Jack's real right about disease and they do attack.

posted by Mariner on Aug 15, 2014 at 10:08:03 am     #  

Historymike, I believe they have been up there at least 5-6 weeks. When we shine a flashlight on them they raise their heads and look around. They haven't moved from the spot they are in in two days.

The mother has been around the whole 6 weeks . We would hear her moving around early in the morning or around 8 pm. When we would go up in the attic through the day she would ALWAYS be seen with the babies. She hasn't been seen or heard from in two days. I think something happened to her.

posted by 3boyz4m on Aug 15, 2014 at 10:11:35 am     #  

Mariner posted at 10:08:03 AM on Aug 15, 2014:

My method of chippie population reduction is to make 'em walk the plank. A container of water almost to the brim with sunflower seeds floating on top with a walkway leaned against it. They have never had swimming lessons. Jack's real right about disease and they do attack.

I have heard this referred to as the "Bucket O' Death," Mariner.

posted by historymike on Aug 15, 2014 at 10:20:57 am     #  

3boyz4m posted at 10:11:35 AM on Aug 15, 2014:

Historymike, I believe they have been up there at least 5-6 weeks. When we shine a flashlight on them they raise their heads and look around. They haven't moved from the spot they are in in two days.

The mother has been around the whole 6 weeks . We would hear her moving around early in the morning or around 8 pm. When we would go up in the attic through the day she would ALWAYS be seen with the babies. She hasn't been seen or heard from in two days. I think something happened to her.

Are the kittens chattering a lot or acting like they are starving, 3boyz4m? Here is a link to a .wav file of the sound of a young raccoon in distress; are you hearing anything like this?

And I also should chime in and remind everyone (as madjack and others have pointed out) that raccoons are vectors of a host of diseases. If you decide to take on foster parenting of these raccoons, you will need to read up on their care and how to prevent yourself from being exposed to disease.

The first time I encountered a juvenile raccoon (perhaps 6-8 months old) was when I owned a house in Detroit. I saw this cute ball of fur in my garage all curled up, and mistakenly assuming it was a cat, I reached out to pet it: "Here, kitty, kitty, kitty..."

The raccoon turned and lurched toward me, snarling like a demon, and I was saved from a nasty bite only because the raccoon was bloodied and wounded, crawling into my garage to recuperate.

Learned my lesson, and I generally give them a wide berth.

Finally, you might have some luck contacting a licenses wildlife rehabilitator. This link lists all of the specialists in Ohio who will take in raccoons; theses animals are classified as Rabies Vector Species due to the risks involved in handling them.

posted by historymike on Aug 15, 2014 at 10:35:26 am     #  

Thank you so much for your help historymike, it is much appreciated. After reading all that's involved I decided to call another company. This one is half the cost as the first one I called so I'm just going to chalk this up to something that is out of my control and let it go..... (sigh)

posted by 3boyz4m on Aug 15, 2014 at 10:50:19 am     #   2 people liked this

I would do the same. Leave it to the pros. I would see it as an unforseen home repair cost. Sucks, but it happens.

posted by JoeyGee on Aug 15, 2014 at 10:54:08 am     #   1 person liked this

3boyz4m posted at 10:50:19 AM on Aug 15, 2014:

Thank you so much for your help historymike, it is much appreciated. After reading all that's involved I decided to call another company. This one is half the cost as the first one I called so I'm just going to chalk this up to something that is out of my control and let it go..... (sigh)

Understood - taking care of these creatures would be a big undertaking, 3boyz4m, and as cute as they can be, there is a definite element of risk involved as opposed to - say - rescuing a baby robin or something.

posted by historymike on Aug 15, 2014 at 11:41:02 am     #  

When I was about 6 my dad found 2 baby raccoons in my great grandparents barn about 60 years ago and the mother was dead next to them. He took them home and feed them with a baby bottle, one died, but the other one the neighbor took. She let it roam the house like a cat during the day and it used the kitty litter, but at night she would have to put gloves on to put it in a cage. She finally had to give it away as it was jealous of her grandchildren and hissed at them when they would come over and it started to get mean and did not want to go into the cage at night.

My father also said he had raccoons on the farm when he was a boy and they followed him around, but as they got older they took off never to return. I guess the point is that they are wild animals and always return to the wild especially as they get older.

posted by Nyse on Aug 15, 2014 at 05:53:57 pm     #  

Same thing happened in the loft of my garage a few years ago. Mom and three babies. We checked on them now and then, and thought at one point that the babies were abandoned. Like historymike said, they are nocturnal. I think she was a little intimidated by seeing humans. They were gone after a couple of weeks. Good luck!

posted by bikerdude on Aug 15, 2014 at 08:30:53 pm     #  

Had a mom and babies in an attic above our office. When I worked nights, they were very active between 3 a.m. - 5 a.m. Sounds like they were moving furniture. An employee who lives on a sprawling farm trapped them and relocated them in the woods near her home.

I couldn't kill babies either, 3boyz4m. Seems like more and more critters are finding their way into the city than before.

posted by renegade on Aug 15, 2014 at 08:38:35 pm     #  

No we are taking more and more of their habitat as our cities sprawl out.

posted by MIJeff on Aug 15, 2014 at 10:30:45 pm     #   1 person liked this

http://toledotalk.com/cgi-bin/tt.pl/article/14848/URGENT

posted by SherryET on Aug 16, 2014 at 01:04:16 am     #  

The only time I've actually heard of a raccoon being raised successfully in captivity is here: Rascal: A Memoir Of A Better Era, by Sterling North.

I visited Sterling North's home in Edgerton, Wisconsin and the book provides an accurate description of the home and surrounding neighborhood. My earlier comment still stands, though, because while North undoubtedly raised a raccoon kit, Rascal took off when he hit puberty and Sterling was smart enough to let him go. The story is a good one, and an easy read. I think it's worth noting that when North published, his family bought copies, read the book and promptly started raising some serious hell with the author. If you believe the family, Sterling didn't represent them accurately - which he probably did. He wrote another book about Edgerton called Plowing on Sunday that described his neighbors, some of whom appear in Rascal. I learned he was practically burned in effigy for that one, which has been out of print for years.

posted by madjack on Aug 16, 2014 at 05:04:26 pm     #