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Injured & Orphaned Raccoons

The Tenafly Nature Center does not take injured or orphaned wildlife! An animal’s best chance of survival is in the care of its own mother.

If your circumstance requires you to handle it, always wear protective gloves and place a towel over it to reduce stress. Always take extreme caution with wild animals. They may harbor diseases and try to defend themselves when fearful. Always be overly cautious of an animal you suspect is sick and in this scenario, keep yourself, children, and pets at a distance, and contact animal control immediately.

Have you found a raccoon?

  • Raccoons carry their babies on their underside. The babies will stay with their mother until they are old enough to make it on their own.
  • If a baby has been left behind, place it in a shallow box where it was found, or in the closest safe place. The mother should return for it, as long as you are not present.
  • Keep in mind that raccoons are nocturnal. If she does not return after an ample amount of time, and you fear the mother is dead, you can bring it to a wildlife rehabilitator. An injured raccoon will benefit from a rehabilitator as well.
  • Signs of injury include shivering, vomiting, emaciation, bleeding, hit by a car, or attacked by a dog/cat.
  • Raccoons have a knack for getting in garbage cans. They are omnivores which means they will eat just about anything. If you find a raccoon trapped inside your garbage can, take an object such as a broom to knock it over.
  • Then, leave the area and allow the raccoon time to leave without harassment.
  • If it does not leave, it may be dehydrated from staying in there for a long time. In this case, a wildlife rehabilitator may be necessary.
  • To avoid these types of encounters make sure your garbage lids are securely fastened.

How to Transport a Rescued Animal to the Wildlife Rehabilitator:

  1. Prepare a container. Place a clean, soft cloth or towel at the bottom of a cardboard box or cat/dog carrier with a lid. If there is no ventilation, make air holes.
  2. Protect yourself. Remember that these are wild animals. They are scared and may try to defend themselves. Even if the animal doesn’t try to scratch, bite, or peck, parasites and diseases are common. Wear gloves, cover the animal with another cloth or towel, and gently place it in the container. Wash your hands and forearms after contact.
  3. Keep the animal calm and warm. Keep children and pets away. Do not bother or handle the animal longer than necessary. Keep it covered for warmth and in a dark quite place.
  4. Do not attempt to feed or provide water.
  5. Note where you found the animal. This is important for release.
  6. Contact a wildlife rehabilitator. Do not keep the animal in your home. It is illegal to house injured/orphaned wildlife without the proper training and credentials.
The advice expressed on this page is to be utilized at your own discretion. Laws regarding wildlife may differ between counties.

Local Wildlife Rehabilitators Accepting Raccoons

Wildlife Freedom Inc.

The Last Resort Rescue
West Milford

Anthony Desimone 201-709-0934

Deborah DeRosa 973-769-6830

Complete list of Wildlife Rehabilitators
New Jersey
New York

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