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First of all, before any critical thoughts come to mind about me feeding wild animals in a neighborhood setting, please understand that there is more to the story.  In the summer of 2009, 9.6 acres of forest a few houses from my home were clear-cut.  A multitude of animals lost their homes and feeding grounds.  If it couldn't run away, it was smashed by landscaping machinery.  Much that could run was hit by cars (likely the fate of the fox that some neighbors spoke of).  Many animals could not find new habitat because other animals had already claimed nearby territory.  There is a big shortage of food for the birds (which also come to my home to feed after their displacement), as well as these poor raccoons.  If I didn't provide them with food, they would be shredding up the neighbor's garbage.  I have never observed that happening since I've been feeding them.

Ricki, the first raccoon to visit me (there are 3 other adults), was obviously starving, scrounging for peanuts and sunflower seeds that were left over from the birds the day before.  I couldn't stand to watch her starve, which is why I started feeding her.  Over a few months, I have been able to tame her enough so that she will take banana pieces from my hand.  She also will come just inside the doorwall and eat (although since it got warmer outside, I can no longer do this because of the mosquitoes that get in while the door is open).  She will come when called if she is out eating seeds 10 feet away.  In mid-June, she started bringing around two babies.  Soon, another family started visiting.  Now, there are five babies and at least 4 adults.

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Photos are displayed with most recent at the top of the page.


Wild Raccoon

Highland State Park, April 15, 2017



Possibly Eddie's and Baby's babies

First, all three were outside getting peanuts with no mother in sight.  When I opened the door to get better photos, the one on the right ran off.  The next night, I saw Baby with one baby.  So it is possible the other two babies belonged to Eddie.  These were taken on July 4, 2016.  There has been no sign of Eddie, Baby, or the three babies since July 5, 2016, so they may have been trapped and euthanized.  The end of an era.  This means 4 generations that I observed and enjoyed, gone.  It is unfortunate that other city-dwellers don't appreciate and accept these intelligent creatures, and secure their homes and garbage so that we may coexist.





"Eddie and Baby"

Baby is inside, Eddie (mom) is outside.  March 1, 2016





Offspring of "Eddie", December 4, 2015.  Unfortunately, I have no photos of Flo and Eddie together.  They were siblings and used to "dance" at the doorwall for food.  Baby also learned this behavior. 






Wild Raccoon

Le Furge Nature Preserve, December 6, 2014

This raccoon was acting strangely, pawing at something.





Wild Raccoon

Timberland Swamp, April 27, 2014

This little raccoon was hiding in a hole in a dead tree.




Wild Raccoon

Lyon Oaks County Park, April 6, 2013

This little raccoon was on the ground at first, then climbed the tree.






Mama Raccoon and Baby

June 14, 2012





Mama Raccoon and Babies

June 17, 2011

This mama had 5 babies with her!  One was so fearless he almost came inside and didn't mind me taking many photos of him on the ledge.  Mama is eating a piece of banana.




June 18, 2011

Notice the tiny runt in the third and fourth rows of photos.  His tail wasn't even bushy yet.








Raccoon and Opossum Feeding together

October 17, 2010

Click the picture below to see more photos of an opossum and raccoon sharing food.



Raccoon and Opossum Feeding together

September 21, 2010

Click the picture below to see more photos of an opossum and raccoon sharing food.



Ricki and babies

late July 2010

Here are some photos of Ricki and her babies (and possibly her sister's babies as well because I think she only has two of her own).  You can see how they've grown from last time.  Ricki is the one reaching really far into the dish in the first photo.








Mama and five babies

July 20, 2010

This was a different mama, not Ricki.  Her teats are full of milk.  In the first photo, you can see this clearly.  She was here eating with five babies, two of which are Ricki's.  She may be Ricki's sister---I read that related females often form groups that live and feed together.  I couldn't get a photo with all five babies in one shot, but they were all hanging around at the same time, some on the stairs, some by the food dish.








Ricki and Babies

June 28, 2010

Here is Ricki with both babies.




Ricki and one baby

June 26, 2010

Ricki and her babies were feeding tonight.  When I opened the doorwall, one baby ran off into the woods, but the other one stayed by Ricki's side and ate.  I was able to get a few pictures, although a couple are out of focus (was using auto-focus at first, but that didn't work too well in the nighttime).  The top two pictures were actually the last two taken---you can see how comfortable Ricki is with me being there taking photos.  Her baby was sitting all relaxed too!  The only reason I had to stop taking photos is because they got scared off by fireworks going on nearby.





Ricki the Raccoon

May 17, 2010

Here is Ricki photographed on 5-17-10 as she ate food on and near my steps at about 8:20pm.






Video of Ricki on this same day...




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