Sunday 18 August 2019

Raccoon rescued from wet cement ‘recovering nicely’

She could even be about to foster four baby raccoons.

(Southwest Wildlife Conservation Centre/PA)
(Southwest Wildlife Conservation Centre/PA)

By Alistair Mason, PA

A raccoon who is recovering after being found stuck in wet cement could be about to foster four babies.

The animal was dangerously cold and struggling to free herself when she was discovered at a cement plant in Arizona by workers, who managed to help her out of the rapidly drying mixture.

(Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center)

From there, the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Centre took over, taking her into their shelter and doing their best to raise her temperature and remove the cement from her fur.

Staff at the centre tried to warm her up using a special blanket, but in doing so they found they were also causing the cement to dry more quickly.

The centre wrote in a Facebook post: “Out came the electric razors and two people began to shave her. With a mixture of wet and dry cement, the blades dulled quickly and needed to be changed again and again.

(Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center)

“More than an hour later, with no blades to spare, the cement was gone, along with the hair it was stuck to. What was left was a hairless, dusty, white raccoon.”

They then managed to remove most of the rest of the cement using a solution of warm water and vinegar.

In an update on Monday, the centre confirmed that the raccoon – which they identified as an older female – was making good progress.

(Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center)

“She’s recovering nicely, so far,” they wrote. “Her eyes are a bit cloudy from age and she’s still thin, but we’re not seeing any lasting problems from her crazy ordeal.”

As they wait for her fur to grow back, staff will continue to assess whether they believe she should be released into the wild or continue to live at the sanctuary.

They added: “We have a wild idea that, while her hair grows back, she might be a good foster mother to a set of four tiny sibling raccoon kits who seem especially despondent without their mother. It’s obvious she’s been a mother, and raccoons do sometimes adopt orphaned babies. Wouldn’t that be so special?

“It may not work, however. Her wild life has been upended and she may need more time to herself.”

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