Peanut Butter Kid
On an early afternoon in August, we received a call from a Westminster couple.
They were very upset. They could find no one to help them and they were at the end of their rope. They had a raccoon on the
garden wall by their house. He had a jar stuck on his head and he needed help.
We told them we'd be there within the hour. Also, we asked that someone stay there with the animal to make sure that we
didn't make the long trip, then find that the raccoon had wandered off. The husband agreed to call work
and arrange to be a little late. We gathered our tools and anything we could think of to successfully get a jar
off the animal's head and left immediately.
When we arrived the whole neighborhood seemed to be waiting for us. We were quickly shown the area where the raccoon had remained.
He was still on the garden wall but had moved behind some bushes. He was a young juvenile and in very bad shape. We netted
him, secured him and brought him out into the open. His head was securely entrapped in a peanut butter jar. The jar was plastic
and jammed very tightly around his head. We had brought a bottle of vegetable oil with us and we used it to cover the lip of the jar and saturate
the little raccoon's neck. He was barely getting any air and was very dehydrated.
We had to pull very slowly but firmly. The raccoon was still intent on survival, even though he was in such bad shape. We
weren't worried; we figured it would be a little hard for him to bite us with his head in a jar, but we did treat the
claws with their due respect.
The tug of war went on for a few seconds, though it seemed to take forever. The more the animal struggled, the harder he
had to fight for air. Finally, the jar flew off with a whoosh of air.
The raccoon took a gulp of air and his struggle for freedom immediately intensified. We kept him in the net and administered
subcutaneous fluids to try to replace the water his body had lost from fear, lack of oxygen and his desperate struggles. While
we were doing this, we were advising the group that we were going to have to bring him back to our facility and hold him until
the evening. It would be too dangerous to just let him go out on his own right away.
One of the neighbors volunteered her cat carrier and to hold the young raccoon until evening and then let him go, so that we wouldn't have to travel with him. We thought
that would work out well. We put the raccoon in her carrier along with some water. We showed her how to stand behind the
carrier when she open it and advised her that under no circumstances was she to put her hand inside. If the animal drank
all of the water we had given him, then we instructed her to pour more on the bottom of the carrier from the outside. He was left in the shade and
went to sleep not long after. He must have been exhausted after the day he had.
We followed up later that night and were told that he was released. She told us that he
quickly ran off and seemed to know exactly where he was going.
What a great group of people, they really went to a lot of trouble for this young raccoon and we would like to thank them.
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