Every spring and early summer, thousands of raccoons across Ontario are orphaned or abandoned. A large percentage of these instances take place in residential areas. Because attics are safe, secluded and warm places to have their litters, raccoons naturally gravitate to these areas. Your ultimate goal is always to get the animals to a wildlife rescue center but until that happens, you will need to care for the baby raccoons.
If you find yourself an unwitting host to baby raccoons, keep reading below to find some simple steps to follow until you can get the animals into the care of a properly suited facility.
On a happy note, check out these little guys the staff at All Wildlife Removal rescued from an attic:
We suggest waiting a day before taking action with the raccoon babies. Mother raccoons will leave their babies unattended for several hours. Follow these pointers to help you determine if
- Are they in a den site? If the babies seem happy and are in a den then there is a high likely hood the mother is simply out.
- Are the babies out in open? If there does not appear to be a den site nearby, it's much likelier that they may be in some sort of peril and further action is required.
- Appear unhealthy or distressed. If they appear in any sort of distress or unhealthy state, it's advisable to take the proper next steps.
You do not want to act to hastily when dealing with baby raccoons. If you jump the gun and remove them from the area immediately, the disturbances may discourage the mother from seeking out the babies and relocating them.
Find A Box
Once it's been determined that the animals are most likely orphaned, the first step is to find a safe and warm place to temporarily place the little guys. Unless you happen to have an insulated raccoon baby box handy, find a suitably sized box of any type. Simply place newspaper or any other warm material you have handy and gently place the animals in the box.
Place the box in a dark and quiet place. A garage or basement is suitable for these purposes. This will keep the animal calm and ensure it can rest and recover during the subsequent few hours. Come evening, place the box with the flaps open outside near the area they were found; there is still a chance the mother will return.
During the first day, do not feed the animals, it is important that they remain hungry so that the mother will hear their cries. Check first thing in the morning to see if your house guests are still there. If the babies are still there in the morning then you should feed them. There is specially formulated raccoon baby formula but it's safe to assume you are unlikely to have any handy. Until you are able to find a suitable shelter or rehabilitation center,
Find A Wildlife Center
If a day or more has gone by and still no sign of mom, it's time to start considering long-term solutions for the little guys in your care.
(If you are stuck with them longer than a day, you can find additional information you require here)
There are several wildlife rehabilitation and refuge centers in Southern Ontario. The unfortunate reality is they are often busy and you may need to contact several centers before finding a home for your baby raccoons.
Below is a list of some of the resources available to you in and around the Greater Toronto Area:
- Toronto Wildlife Center - Toronto - 416-631-0662
- Animal Rehabilitation Center - Toronto - 416-964-9346
- Southern Ontario Animal Rehab. Center - Burlington, ON - 905-961-7627
- Hobbitstee Wildlife Refuge - Jarvis, ON - 519-587-2980
- Grimsby Urban Wildlife Center - Grimsby, ON - 905-818-5708
- Prolyon Wildlife, Beeton, ON - 905-729-0033
Patience may be required during busier times of the year (spring/early summer), however, these organizations are phenomenal and dedicate to finding a place for these little guys.
If you have raccoons in your attic that require removal, please do not attempt on your own. Raccoon removal should only be attempted by trained professionals. contact a local wildlife company immediately before the damage escalates.