It’s raining kits and fawns!
The Mountainaire Avian Wildlife Society (MARS) Wildlife Rescue is putting out an urgent appeal for donations as they have received into care vastly increased numbers of raccoon babies (kits) and fawns already this year.
Currently, MARS is caring for 13 orphaned fawns and birthing season is only just underway and so more are anticipated. Each fawn is fed goats’ milk supplemented with fats, vitamins, minerals and protein. They are fed five times a day, and caregivers ensure that the fawns get to interact with each other so that they can be released into the wild come the fall.
|MARS staffer Hazel feeds some fawns. Photo supplied|
This year is the first time that the team at MARS has cared for raccoons. Before this year, they transported any injured or orphaned raccoons to another facility on the Island. That facility has now declined to take any raccoons from north of Nanaimo, and so this has resulted in 23 raccoon kittens coming into care at MARS.
They also have one family with an injured mom. The 20 orphaned baby kits range in age from two weeks to one month. These babies are also fed five times a day, and the team is trying to build appropriate housing for them as fast as possible, but resources are incredibly stretched.
Raccoon kits are also fed a supplemented goats’ milk formula, and caregivers scratch up their fur when handling them for feeding just as the mother would. Raccoons are very vocal and have a wide range of sounds to express emotional states. They also learn to climb at a very early age and love to use the caregivers for this purpose whenever possible. These raccoons will be in care until late in the fall or early spring.
Sometimes, MARS receives fawns, kits or even seal pups that are inadvertently kidnapped by well-meaning people.
“It is important to remember that a doe, raccoon or mother seal, may leave their offspring for 24 hours, sometimes as long as 48 hours, at a time in order to feed themselves,” said Reg Westcott, Wildlife Care supervisor. “If you find any ‘babies’ that you think are abandoned or orphaned, please call us at MARS and we will assist.”
MARS would like to thank everyone that has donated so far, but if you haven’t yet had the opportunity to give this season, they would much appreciate any monetary assistance to enable them to complete the raccoon housing as well as buy the appropriate food for each baby.
For more information, or to help out financially, visit marswildliferescue.com