Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Great Raccoon Release

Today was the perfect day for releasing rescued raccoons into the wild...not too hot, a bit overcast and with a mild breeze. My friend went to the rescue preserve and they wrangled 5 fiesty, bright eyed, fat and sassy raccoons, gave them antibiotic shots and stuffed them into an extra large dog crate. She drove out to my house. The raccoons were trying to escape the dog crate - making lots of racket and rocking the cage wildly.
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She picked up my DH and me and we headed for the release site in the Santa Ana Riverbed Wilderness Area.
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Five raccoons in a dog crate weigh more than 150 pounds...quite a bit of a load to haul. Where we parked is a staging area for horses and a couple of caballeros offered to help my DH with hauling the crate with the raccoons and the bags of dog food (to help the raccoons adjust to their new home) Even with three strong men, they had to stop frequently and readjust their hold on the cage.
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We got down close to the river and opened the cage. The raccoons were a bit reluctant to vacate the dog crate! Finally a couple of them headed out and made a beeline for the water.
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We ended up taking the crate apart to get the final three raccoons out. One jumped out and ran under the top of the crate (Gimme shelter!) Finally all the raccoons were out and had headed to the water.
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I see WATER!
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One even looked like he was going to swim to the other side of the river but he noticed his buddies had stopped at a neat looking tree with a cave under the roots and swam over there instead.
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I hope they have a good long raccoon life!
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Home Sweet Raccoon Home!

3 comments:

Granny Fran said...

Wonderful photos. You done a good thing!

Rian said...

What an interesting story! Thanks for sharing. Those are some pretty rotund racoons!

Deb H said...

What a fun story! Very cute!