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Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society attends to needs of orphaned baby raccoons

PROWLS: Rescue of the week
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TERRIBLE TWOSOME: Two very young, very small baby raccoons were noticed huddled by the side of the road near Black Point fire hall. Their mom had been hit and killed by a car.

With only their tiny milk teeth as their snarling defence, they were actually very intimidating. As they ran back and forth within a long, dense laurel hedge, they were finally scooped up in nets and brought back to Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society (PROWLS), where they snuggled up in a towel and slept.

Requiring frequent feeding every couple of hours with infant formula in a syringe, they were a handful. Arrangements were made to send them via BC Ferries to MARS Wildlife Rescue in Merville, who have the necessary facilities for raccoon rehabilitation. Once mature enough to fend for themselves, they will return to the Powell River area for release.

Raccoons are not normally aggressive and rarely injure people; however, they can be dangerous when threatened or cornered, according to BC Conservation Officer Service. They are wild animals and should be treated accordingly. Do not put food out for raccoons or other wildlife and never leave pet food where wildlife can get it. Dogs are not an effective method of keeping raccoons away, so keep pets indoors at night.

BC Health says raccoons can be dangerous to human health. They can carry rabies, which is a life-threatening disease for humans. They pose a bigger threat through their droppings. Diseases such as salmonella, leptospirosis and raccoon roundworm are all carried in urine and fecal matter.

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