Orphaned Raccoons Re-Enter the Real.

From admission as small 160 gram babies with their eyes still closed, to fierce and hefty predators weighing in at over 3 kilograms (metric converter) is a long process. The orphaned raccoons that we admit at Humboldt Wildlife Care Center are in care for four months or longer, while they develop, grow, and learn the skills they’ll need for their wild and free lives

As the Fall season swings into high gear, we’ve begun the process of weekly checks to determine who might be ready for release. Last week we did our first round. (Be sure to check out the photos and scroll to the end for video!)

[check out this story from last year’s raccoon release – awesome video of a young female catching a fish her fist time in the river!]

dsc_4389Orphaned raccoons in care learn that fish is found in the water, that bugs are found in the dirt, that fruit is found in trees, and that eggs are found in nests – all things they would have learned from their mother. 

dsc_4569Next comes the real river!

dsc_4512It’s healthy to approach new things with caution! A young raccoon takes her time leaving the crate. The wild is much bigger than any of us dream.

dsc_4500The gravel floor of our raccoon housing is made of river bed, just like this river’s bed. Everything is made of the wild.


[We have plenty of expenses from our busy summer season still to be paid. Please help! We need to raise $7000 this month to stay in the black. Your love for the wild and your generous support makes our work possible. Click here to donate now.]





dsc_4541After exploring independently, these two meet up in the river to compare notes. 



dsc_4557Off they go, into their real destiny.

Here is a five minute video of the release:

There is a kind of intelligence that can be easily found in our universe. A striped tail intelligence, curious, adventurous, playful – an intelligence that connects rivers with constellations and finds morsels under any leaf – a furred, masked, happy intelligence that knows what to do with a mushroom or an egg – a four-handed intelligence that sings water’s praises and wants nothing but freedom and a safe place to nurse her young. Any Raccoon is the living embodiment of this intelligence  a generous and congenial way to navigate all that the real offers. When we consider all points of view, all perspectives, when we make decisions, when we plan our lives, we are foolish to ignore this wisdom. We are lucky to share this world with an intelligence like Raccoon.

Your support makes our work possible. Please help. Donate what you can, every little bit helps.


All photos: BAX/Laura Corsiglia – video: Lucinda Adamson/BAX