On Wednesday I was given a newborn baby raccoon, who had become orphaned. She had been born in an attic & her mum had apparently been trapped & taken away, leaving behind Rocket & possibly some other babies. She was found trapped inside the wall, the wall was pulled apart & the woman who found it didn’t want her in her house any longer. I tried to contact a few different places to take her, but when it became apparent that I wouldn’t be able to find a home for her, with other raccoons for a few days I set about getting myself setup to look after her until such time as I could find someone.
I found a couple of websites with a host of information on it about looking after baby orphaned raccoons, although to be fair, there wasn’t a whole lot on raising newborns like what I have & certainly nothing about how hard it might be to actually get a hold of someone with experience to do it, which is what I found. Many places will only take in domesticated animals & have a policy of putting down any others, which is pretty sad to be honest. Sometimes there is more cruelty that happens with animals than with humans & vice versa.
I hadn’t anticipated that it would be as hard as it was to actually get someone from the wildlife sanctuary to respond to my request for help & have Rocket placed with a carer. I received Rocket on Wednesday night, sent an email (as the message bank on their phones answering machine was full) early Thursday morning & then didn’t hear back until late Saturday night. Rocket did pretty well up until Friday night, when she hadn’t pooped all day, I managed to get her to poop Saturday morning, but she had started to lose interest in eating from Friday evening to Saturday, perhaps it had to do with switching her to pedialyte, which I was doing to try to rehydrate her? At some point she ended up with fluid in her lungs, perhaps from my feeding of her or the person before? I know that she gulped a little too much on a few feedings, but I tried tipping her upside down to allow it to drain (maybe I didn’t do it for long enough?) & cleaned her up, but maybe it wasn’t enough? I find myself questioning everything that I did & wondering what if?
I certainly went into it with the best of intentions & to find out after I took her to the wildlife rescue that she died a few hours later was devastating. She was found at 2am on Mothers Day, having passed away when they went to give her more fluids subcutaneously. I had tried reaching out a few places for help, to no avail. I really do wish that the wildlife centre had checked their messages sooner, if Rocket had gotten there the day before I am sure that she would still be alive, possibly even a few hours earlier.
So many what ifs. As a few friends pointed out, I am not a raccoon mum, I’m a human mum, who is looking after a toddler & pregnant with another, I gave it my best shot & in the end I gave her a few more extra days than she would have had.
Newborns of any species are very hard to look after, they require a huge amount of care & maybe in time I will find the knowledge in knowing that I tried, a bit more reassuring, but for now, I still can’t get past the failure
Rest In Peace, sweet Rocket, we loved getting to know you & sorry that your lifespan was less than a week in length.