Summer and Fall of 2011 – 18 orphaned raccoons from a very young age. All but two of them were released. Raccoons require a lot of care, as they develop very slowly and take a long time to reach an independent stage. In the wild, some raccoons will stay with their mom through their first winter.
Although they do not hibernate, they will seek shelter in the den they were raised in until mom kicks them out the following spring to raise a new litter.
These photos show two of this year’s raccoons being released back into the wild.
Some objects, like this rock, they are experiencing for the first time. At first they are timid, but they quickly adapt to the environment around them.
These raccoons have a nice thick fur coat and extras stores of fat to give them the best chance of surviving their first winter on their own, since mom is not around to help.
All photographs are courtesy of Ashley Kramer, Student Intern.