Remember the little singleton raccoon that needed a bath this summer? We released him last Sunday, along with 6 other juvenile raccoons! Baby raccoons do not do well as singletons, so we create family groups of usually 4-8 orphans. They also do better when released as a group; they look out for each other and learn from each other. Now off into the world they all went.
It was very cute. The first additional baby raccoon we introduced to our little singleton this summer was a little girl that Steve had rescued from under someone’s floorboards. These 2 were very bonded, as you would expect from to lonely little orphans. But his bond persisted over the months and they were still bonded upon release.
Our little bath boy was the most adventerous of the group, coming out of the kennel quickly and climbing up the embankment of the creek.
He was out exploring for a few minutes and none of the others had joined him. He started to get worried up there all alone, so he gave a call and right away the little girl came scampering out of the kennel and climbed up to be with him.
Then they took off up the tree together. We know which 2 raccoons they were because of the way we boxed them up and because some of the others had different-looking fur.
The rest slowly came out and then it was time for the humans to leave. I do hope they are doing well. We did our best for them, but in the confusion that follows a release there’s usually one raccoon that heads off in a different direction from the rest. The last one out got spooked and headed off the wrong way down the creekbed. Raccoons are very smart and I think that, once we left and the coast was clear, the little guy would come back and call to the others to link back up, but I always worry anyway.
Still have 3 or 4 groups to release this winter, but at least I don’t think we’ll be hosting any more at our house this year.