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Wildlife Stories

Rescue Stories

A raccoon whose love of... beer... got her into a sticky situation

A raccoon whose love of... beer... got her into a sticky situation

Last week our director Laura, along with Officers Miller and Walton at the Nebraska Humane Society, finally caught an injured raccoon that had been eluding us for weeks! This adult female raccoon was first spotted in the NHS parking lot several weeks ago, limping along with a broken glass beer bottle stuck around her leg. Despite the valiant efforts of NHS, she continued to outsmart the traps and it took eagle-eyed officers to see her one night and realize that if we teamed up we could catch her by hand so that Nebraska Wildlife Rehab could provide her with the medical care she needed. This happened because the raccoon stuck her hand into a discarded bottle in search of something tasty and got the neck stuck around her arm. The rest of the bottle broke off, creating an even more dangerous situation for her - a jagged bottle edge that repeatedly rubbed her arm and cut open her skin. In a stroke of luck, the bottle neck was not tight enough to cut off circulation or cause permanent nerve damage, which often means the loss of a hand for a raccoon. These pictures are from her visit to Dr. Dempsey to have the bottle removed and the wound cleaned. Once she was sedated, a thorough exam revealed that although she was recently lactating, which meant that she still had juvenile kits needing her protection and assistance out in the wild.  With quality care over the next few days, and the excellence of long-term antibiotics, we were able to release her to rejoin her family! This raccoon is a stark reminder that it is important to properly dispose of trash and to keep garbage cans and dumpsters secure. If this bottle had just been a little tighter, this raccoon would have lost her hand, and probably her life.

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