Orphan Alert:  Be very careful not to create orphan raccoons by accident. When a baby raccoon is separated from its mother during the night, the baby will stay where it is until the mother returns, which may not be until the next night. People often find a sleeping baby raccoon and will assume it needs to be rescued. However, it is likely that the mother will be back after dark. If the baby raccoon is not in imminent danger, it’s best to observe the baby for another 24 hours without disturbing it.

Raccoon Removal Alert: Mother raccoons often give birth in the spring in and around our homes. When homeowners hire pest control companies to remove the mother, the babies will be left behind. The best solution is to wait a few weeks until the babies are mobile and joining their mother for foraging. After they’ve left your dwelling for the evening, it’s safe to close their access for good.

What to do if you find…

Baby Raccoons

1. Always wear gloves when handling raccoons.

2. First, establish that the baby raccoon needs to be rescued. If the baby looks healthy, it is best to wait and watch for up to 24 hours before taking action. If there is no sign of the mother, or if the baby is injured or being stalked by a predator, it’s time to bring the baby to Native Animal Rescue.

3. Warm a soft cloth or an old t-shirt in the dryer and place it in the bottom of a box with air holes. Keep the box warm by placing it on a warm towel or on a heating pad set on low.

4. Carefully lift the baby and place it in the box.

5. Close the box and bring it to Native Animal Rescue following the directions below.

6. If you are uncomfortable handling the baby, call Native Animal Rescue at 831-462-0726.

Injured Adult Raccoons

Though it’s hard to accept, adult raccoons can almost never be caught and successfully treated. If an adult raccoon is cornered or captured, it will struggle to break free causing itself great harm in the process. If you see an adult raccoon with a broken leg or other injury, leave the animal alone. Even though the injury may take a long time to heal, this is far preferable to the trauma of chase and capture. Wild animals have an amazing ability to heal and adapt to many types of injuries.

1. Do not handle, feed, or transport injured adult raccoons. Adult raccoons can be very vicious and aggressive, can move quickly, and can cause serious injury to you and themselves.

2. Contact Santa Cruz County Animal Services 831-454-7200 OR 831-471-1182 (after hours)

3. If you are unable to contact Santa Cruz Animal Services, call Native Animal Rescue.

Are you having problems with raccoons on your property? We have lots of advice for dealing with raccoons on your property. Click here to get started.

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Native Animal Rescue        1855 17th Ave., Santa Cruz, CA 95062