Last weekend Steve and I got to do one of my favorite things about volunteering at WildCare. We got to release some patients. Specifically, we got to release 6 orphaned raccoons that had grown into burly, strapping adolescents.
We found a great location for them in the woods near a creek, and not all that far from a small community in case they got desperate for food. It can be tough to find out that the Kibble Tree doesn’t actually exist.
We passed a fruit and nut stand on the way to the release site and Steve joked about releasing them right there where there would be plenty of food. We managed to resist that particular temptation.
Two of these guys were raccoons that Steve and I had rescued as babies from a house in Sausalito. The homeowner had called a trapper to remove an adult raccoon living in the attic. It wasn’t until after the trapper had taken the adult away and done his dirty deed that he homeowner realized there were babies in the attic, too. There were many things about this event that bear discussing as it was a cluster-f from the get go. I almost posted about it at the time, but didn’t get to it. Just a hint to guide you on your way: if you trap a lactating female, there are probably babies in the area. I’m just sayin’. Suffice it to say, I’m grateful the homeowner called WildCare for the follow-up as we were able to rescue the babies from the attic and take them into care.
Steve and I had them in our cage for about 3 weeks before they joined the other four in a larger enclosure at WildCare. It is really neat to go through all of that, to save the babies and care for them and finally to let them go.
I’ve never shed a tear at a release although I know others who have. I am always able to keep an emotional distance because I know their end-point is in the wild. I just love seeing the little buggers be on their way.