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Bandit & Anika: The Baby Raccoons 

April 7, 2021

   Rudy has been continuously improving his tree removal skills over the years but never in those years has he ever encountered something like this... Baby raccoons, or kits, buried deep in the hollow of a tree that he was removing. As the tree went down and he was cutting it into smaller, more manageable logs, he started to hear the sounds of little hyenas. Unsure of what he would find he took care as he searched through the logs...because mama raccoons and some squirrels are crazy ya know :).... but then he found them, little kits. Eyes unopened, ears unopened, making the most obnoxious sound. Mama had run off and left them behind in the stress of it all, but there they were-5 or 6 babies, but they all didn't make it through the trauma. It was devastating. We love animals.

   Rudy brought the 2 babies home that had survived, a little boy and girl-and I instantly fell in love. I welcomed Bandit and Anika into my home and heart. I did all the research to care for them as if I was there own mama. I syringe fed them, I used a wash cloth to help them go potty as if I was their mama stimulating their bladders. They sucked on my thumb and they nuzzled in the crook of my arm. I even got a second degree burn on a heat lamp for those little boogers. On day two after feeding them every 3 hours, I got them to bottle feed where they wrapped their little paws around the bottle as if they were a human baby and man, did they love the bottle. Without sight and hearing they would just sniff and lick around till they found me. They "spider crawl" around the floor and make a horrible squeaking sounds.

   Come Saturday morning I was awoken to a knock on my door by the Liberty police department. I was detained for having wildlife in my home and would be detained until the wildlife officer arrived and then was informed that it was a $1000.00 fine for each raccoon and up to a year in jail each. I had NO idea that rescuing these babies was illegal in any way. The conservation agent's suggestion was to have left them there in the cold and rain next to their deceased brothers and sisters. I was then made to meet with someone from Lakeside nature center at Quicktrip and surrender them. I know it hadn't even been three whole days but I was attached. And no, my intentions were not to keep them as pets, but rather save them and release them back over where their parents had them as kits just as my research had suggested was best for their well being. Luckily I was just given a warning rather than a fine and jail time. 

   So with all that being said-Were we wrong? Should we just have left them there in the cold? Left them there alone? Am I wrong to have feared that if I would have called animal control right then and there that they would have just killed them because they're known as nothing but just a menace to society? Is it so wrong to want to be a good person and care for something so helpless?