Baby raccoons left behind after a mother has been relocated are definitely orphaned and need help. They are too young to fend for themselves if left alone.
Is the baby raccoon really orphaned?
Are you completely sure that the raccoon that was trapped and removed is the mother? More than one adult raccoon can live in a small area – unless the relocated raccoon was removed directly from the den site, you should try to leave the baby out for its mother before intervening further.
To do this for a baby found INSIDE a den, follow these steps:
- Leave the den alone and watch from a distance for several hours
- If possible, temporarily stop any activities going on near the den site that might scare the mother (like construction)
- If the nest is inside a hole (e.g. in a roof), tape a sheet of newspaper over the entrance. Leave it overnight – if the paper is torn in the morning, you’ll know that the mother came back.
- If the nest is not in a hole, leave a light dusting of flour around the entrance to check for fresh tracks if the mother returns.
If the baby was found OUTSIDE a den (e.g., on the ground), learn how to potentially reunite the baby with its mother.
If you are certain that the relocated adult was the baby’s parent, learn how to contain the baby.