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Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society saves struggling raccoon

PROWLS: Rescue of the week

Raccoons are problematic animals, bringing out the best and the worst in people. Cute, intelligent and fun, they are also fearsome predators, as many people with chickens and ducks can tell you.

While most people will call about orphaned raccoon kits, many people walk away from injured adult raccoons. We were very pleased, then, when we received the call for a raccoon in rough shape at Lang Bay. It was lying in a shallow ditch, against a fence, not moving, in spite of the blowing snow and cold.

Like the real survivor that it is, though, when we approached, it struggled to its feet, snarled viciously and ran off along the fence. Over the next half hour, we chased after it, flushing it out of a dense hedge, running across a large field, through blackberries and finally into a shed.

By now, there were six of us. The raccoon was exhausted and in obvious pain, trying to hide in a small inaccessible space. Finally, it was caught with a short piece of rope around its neck and hauled out, wrapped in a blanket and stuffed into a kennel.

Back at Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society’s facility, it was placed in a quiet room, the rope gently taken off, and was given a feast of salmon, grapes and apples. It was more alert the next morning, when BC Ferries passed it to MARS Wildlife Rescue Association in Courtenay for us. The specialists at MARS suspect poisoning with cannabis. It is slowly recovering and we look forward to a quick release.