Alaine, a friend that I work with at Estabrook’s, recently shared this amazing story about a mother raccoon and her babies.
Alaine was working in her backyard that abuts a marshy area. She saw a large raccoon out of the corner of her eye before it ran back into the woods. The next thing she heard was wild screeching – she thought that there was an animal fight going on – or something was being killed. She then saw 3 baby raccoons climbing a dead tree in the marshy area (pictured right). Two babies were on one dead limb and the third was all by himself on a separate limb. Alaine guesses that what she heard was the moma raccoon screeching at her babies to get back to their ‘den’.
The moma raccoon then climbed up to the two babies on the one trunk and they followed her down. All three came down head first, the moma leading and the babies bumping into her rear. It turns out that raccoons can climb down trees forward or backward since their back feet can rotate 180 degrees.
The lone baby raccoon kept climbing skyward….until it reached the end of the dead trunk. Alaine watched as it clung to the tree for hours. It finally inched back to a notch where there was a dead branch stub and rested there, hanging its arms and legs for relief. Alaine watched all of this with her binoculars. The little raccoon just hung limply and then started yawning. No sign of mom.
Finally, 4.5 hours later, at dusk, Alaine sees the moma raccoon start climbing the tree (pictured). She couldn’t make it up to where the baby was – the branch was too thin. She got the baby to inch its way down to her. Then they both turned around and went down the tree head first, with the baby sliding into the mom’s rear end.
When you look at the picture of how tall the dead tree is, it’s amazing that any of the babies made it down, especially the third little tyke.
How great a mother’s love!