In this post, we’ll discuss why you should leave baby raccoons alone if you have found them without their mother around.
You may have found some baby raccoons alone without their mother. In spring and early summer, this can be a common occurrence in suburban or even urban areas.
We’ll admit, baby raccoons can be cute. When many people see some cute little baby raccoons alone without their mother, the reaction will often be “Awwww! They’re so cute! And all alone. The poor things. I should help them.”.
Don’t touch them! Baby raccoons should be left alone.
It is actually very normal for baby raccoons to be left alone by their mother while she goes searching for food, or maybe even to go take a nap in a quiet place.
Though “helicopter parenting” may be all the rage with human parents, animals in the wild often need to leave their young babies alone while they search for food. It’s easier to hunt without babies and it’s safer for them as well.
When you see baby robins alone in a bird’s nest, you don’t worry, because you know their mom will be back soon with food for them. They get left alone constantly while mom goes hunting. It’s really not very different with raccoons.
Wildlife biologist Dianne Robinson of the Department of Natural Resources “Keep Wildlife Wild” campaign says:
“….mother raccoons will leave their kits alone while they are searching for food. It’s normal for kits to be frolicking or vocalizing near their den without mom. Well-meaning people may find raccoon kits in the day time and mistakenly think those kits are in trouble. Provided the kit looks healthy and are not sick or healthy, the best action is to leave the kits alone….”
The DNR receives many calls every spring about abandoned baby raccoons. It’s very likely that their mother will be back for them shortly. She might even be hiding nearby waiting for you to leave.
You should leave the area and leave the babies alone. If you are worried about them, check back again on them in a couple hours. It’s likely that they’ve left for the den with their mother.
If you find a raccoon baby and it appears to be sick or injured, you should contact the Illinois DNR or a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.
No matter how cute they may be, baby raccoons are wild animals, and wild animals are best left alone for both their health and safety and yours too.
Raccoons can carry dangerous diseases and their droppings can carry disease as well. They should not be handled by people.
Except in very rare instances – leave those baby raccoons alone!
We provide humane, live animal trapping of raccoons and other nuisance animals
If you are anywhere in the greater Chicagoland area, we can help!
Phone (847) 464-1861
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Image credit: Baby Raccoon