Raccoon Rescue: Departures and Arrivals

Whew!  What a day!

As some of you know, I volunteer on Tuesdays at a wildlife rehab facility.  Today, we released 3 of the raccoons that we have raised for the past year.   Loaded up in cages in the back of the van, we drove them out to a carefully selected site.  My heart went out to them as I could hear them scratching frantically at the cages, desperate to get out.  Poor babies!

Fortunately, their distress was short lived, and well worth the end result: freedom.  As we opened the cages, my heart soared at seeing these amazing animals being returned to their true home in the wild.  This is where they belong.  Never has anything been more obvious, more naturally beautiful and right.  They were so happy, so free, so wild, so gleeful and excited.  We watched as they explored their new surroundings – climbing trees, scrambling over rocks, drinking from a stream, taking in all the sights, sounds, and scents.  At last, it came time to say goodbye, but it was with full heart, knowing that these friends were finally home.

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The gateway to freedom!

Back in the van, we had one more stop: to the vet with our porcupine friend, Lucille.  Now, I am here to tell you that taking a porcupine to the vet is no easy task.  I carried the cage in and set it down on the table, where we proceeded to throw a blanket over her, lift her out, and hold her down – all while wearing reeeeallly thick gloves.

Lucille was hit and dragged by a plow back in December.  The fur and quills on her back were completely scraped off, and she has appeared to have some issues with her eye sight.  Thankfully, her quills and fur have been growing back quite nicely, but we haven’t been too sure about her eyes.  Unfortunately, the vet confirmed that Lucille is blind.  We are not sure what we can do for her eyes to restore vision, but we will try to help her as best we can.

After our trip to the vet, it was time to feed our new arrivals: 6 baby raccoons.  These are from 2 separate litters.  In one family, the mother was relocated without realizing there were babies. In the other family, the mother was killed by an exterminator (which, unfortunately, is a standard practice).

The babies arrived just a couple weeks old, with their eyes still shut, and grieving for their mother.   Needless to say, they need a lot of love and care (which they are getting)!  Right now, they are only about 6 to 8 inches long, but you wouldn’t believe the racket they can make!  And of course, they are cute beyond words!

Now the day is done, and I’m completely worn out.  I’m out on my patio listening to the song of the whippoorwill and the yapping of coyotes, thinking about the cycle of life and how it goes on and on.   We are born, we get older, and eventually, we all go free.  This is the way of the world, and the Divine Harmony of Life.

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Home at last

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Free and wild

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Going to take a drink!

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The view is great from up here!

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A bouquet of babies

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Time for feeding

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Snuggle time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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