Reuniting the raccoon with its mother
Raccoons are excellent mothers and will come back for their babies if given a chance! Raccoon moms will also take much better care of their babies than any human possibly could.
Place the box with the raccoon (and a heat source) as close as possible to where the raccoon was found. If there is a tree nearby, put it at the base of the tree. Raccoons don’t always nest in trees, so next to a house or building will work too.
A baby raccoon should be left out for one whole overnight period to see if its mother will come back — raccoons are nocturnal, and most likely to come looking for their babies at night. Make sure to KEEP IT WARM – refresh the heat source as needed.
Don’t give the baby anything to eat or drink. Besides causing other potential problems, we want the baby to be hungry. If it’s hungry, it will cry, and its cries will call its mother.
What if it’s a really busy area?
In high traffic areas, you can put a sign on the box to let other people know that the raccoon is waiting for its mother. Here’s one you can print off. In very busy areas, it may make more sense to bring the baby inside and keep it somewhere dark and quiet for the day. As soon as the sun starts to set and traffic dies down, get it outside right away. No matter what, make sure to leave baby raccoons out for their mother for at least one whole overnight period.
What if the baby keeps crawling out of the box?
Older baby raccoons may not stay in the box you put them in. For these babies, cover them with an upside-down laundry basket. Put a brick on top of the laundry basket to keep it in place. The mother raccoon will have no trouble flipping the basket over to get her baby out.
What if it’s raining?
If it’s raining lightly, cover half of the box with a piece of cardboard. If it’s raining hard, bring the baby inside and keep it dark and quiet and warm. Put it back outside as soon as the weather clears up a bit. A mother raccoon won’t be looking for her babies during a heavy rain.
What if it’s during the day?
If you found the baby during the day, put it back out for its mother right away – although raccoons are nocturnal, mothers will still look for their babies during the day. They’re good moms. In very busy high-traffic areas, it may make more sense to bring the baby inside and keep it somewhere dark and quiet. As soon as the sun starts to set and traffic dies down, get it outside right away. No matter what, make sure to leave baby raccoons out for their mother for at least one whole overnight period.