If a baby raccoon you have found needs help, the first step is to get it contained to keep it safe. Once the baby raccoon is secure, contact a wildlife rehabilitator for assistance. If you cannot contain the baby raccoon, contact a wildlife rehabilitator to ask for further advice.

Do not handle baby raccoons more than necessary

IMPORTANT: Humans are predators to wild animals, and any contact with us is stressful for them – even if they try to hide it. Older baby raccoons may bite or scratch if frightened. Younger baby raccoons need to be kept wild. Handling baby raccoons also increases the risk of transferring diseases between humans and wild animals. Don’t handle baby raccoons more than necessary.

How to contain a baby raccoon

Step 1: Find the right container

For smaller baby raccoons, a cardboard box is perfect. For older baby raccoons who can get out of a cardboard box, you can use a pet carrier, a plastic tote with holes in the lid, or a recycling bin with a secure makeshift cover (see below). Line the container with a towel.

Step 2: Catch the raccoon

Wear heavy gardening gloves just in case. If the baby raccoon is small and quiet, scoop it up with a towel and place it in the box or carrier. Leave the towel in the box with the baby.

If the baby raccoon is bigger and growling or trying to get away, place a bin upside-down over the raccoon, or use a towel to corral the baby into a cat carrier or a bin on its side.  Slide a board or a sturdy piece of cardboard under the container and secure it to keep the baby raccoon contained.

Pin and board

Place the container upside-down over the baby, and slide a piece of wood or cardboard underneath. Make sure either the board or container has airholes.

Bin and Board

Secure the makeshift lid with rope or duct tape. The container can be gently turned over to provide a stronger base.