Friday, June 19, 2009

Chased By Raccoons

I left you yesterday in the second part of this trilogy of raccoons as I began walking down the path in the same direction the baby raccoons had fled. It was probably foolish to do it, but I had been already going that way and I thought they were leaving me now.

Here are links to parts one and two if you missed them:
  1. Raccoons
  2. Surrounded By Raccoons

As I rounded the bend that the raccoons did, I saw that they had not disappeared into the forest, but they were watching and waiting for me. This time their were only four around though. The other two decided I wasn't so good after all. Just as they spotted me coming down the path they darted towards me again!

I stopped again as these four remaining raccoons surrounded me once more. In my greedy mind I saw it as another great opportunity to get some more valuable pictures of these adorable little creatures. And I was still just fascinated by them. As I keep saying, nothing like this has ever happened to me before.

As I was taking my pictures of them though I began to realize something. They didn't seem as curious of me as they did last time. This was something different. They were looking to me for comfort. That's when I looked around for their mother again. She was nowhere in sight.


There was one little raccoon that kept climbing up my leg. I had to shake it off a couple of times. I had to be careful not to touch any of them with my hands, even though I had an overwhelming urge to pet them. I didn't want to put any unnecessary human scent on them.

I didn't know what that would do to them when they got back to their mother. I thought they were probably too old for it, but I didn't want her to reject them because of human smell on them. Still, where was she?

These little ones were beginning to get very comfortable with me. They were wrapping themselves around me as if they were hugging me. One of them laid down in between my feet as if it was going to take a nap right there. I was quickly realizing that this was not a good thing for either of us.

I was assuming hopefully that the mother was fine and she had just taken a little stroll. If that was the case, she would be back shortly. If she saw me with her babies I would be in very big trouble. I definitely did not want to have to fight off an angry mother raccoon.

This is an animal that is much bigger than a house cat, and could kill it with ease. An adult raccoon is almost the size of a middle sized dog. The raccoon would usually win in a fight with a dog that's bigger than it. Either way the fight went, the dog would come out of it hurt. Like I said before, I was in trouble.

I decided then that I had better move away from these little ones, even though I thought they were very adorable. The leg crawler did it again, so I shook it off for the last time. They were all looking at me in an almost pleading way now. As you can see, they look very healthy, so I'm sure their mother would return very soon.

So I started to walk down the trail, and the little raccoons followed close at my feet. They were still closely surrounding me. I had to be careful where I stepped so I wouldn't hurt one of them. This was way out of hand now! I had to do something, and I had to do it now!

I quickly moved away from the crowd, and they came right back to me! I moved one direction and then another but they still kept coming! I finally stomped my foot at them in a threatening manner, but it didn't work either. They liked me too much now. I even growled and hissed at them to no avail.

So you know what I did? I did what I had to do. I ran! I ran as fast as I could go! The raccoons ran too! They were right behind me! I kept running until I began to pull away from them. I had never run so hard in my life! Up and down hills, and probably halfway through the park.

I stopped to rest once. I turned to see if they were still coming, and off in the distance I saw them running towards me! So I turned and ran again even further and faster than before. I ran down a huge hill to the creek, and then up the other side with equal speed!

From the top of the hill I turned around again, and to my relief they were nowhere in sight. I had finally lost them. I have to admit that I felt bad about it, but it was the best thing to do in that situation. I couldn't lead them through the park only to have them get lost from their mom. Yup, I was finally away from them and I felt like a jerk for it.

When I returned to that section of the park on my way out, I took the other path so I could avoid another encounter with them. It was the best thing for the little raccoons. I would never see my little friends again, but I wish I could.

That's the end of my encounter with the little raccoons. This one was extra long only because I promised it would be the final part of the story. I hope it teaches us in some small way that you can't make friends with or a pet of a wild animal. Just try to stay away if you can. Let me know what you think.

23 comments:

  1. Brilliant, I'd love to have seen you running, being chased by half-a-dozen racoons! :-) Some great photos too, particularly the last one.

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  2. Ratty, these pictures are so adorable. It makes you feel sad for them though. It seems they are missing their mom bad. I sure hope she comes back to them and didn't meet with a bad fate somewhere. I've never heard anything like that. What a story!! Amazing! But you are right about not getting to friendly with wild critters. I wish I hadn't started feeding these squirrels 12 years ago and now I have all those foxes coming around like puppy dogs. I better stop talking to them I think. I wouldn't want to put them in jeopardy.
    Great posts Ratty!! Loved this one very much!

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  3. Well, I think that when creation is restored we will be friends with the animals. Meanwhile we have to maintain these stupid barriers between wild and otherwise. Your whole encounter is very strange though. I do wonder where mama was. I've seen older young still with the mother (watched one being taught how to fish from a fallen log one day years ago, and it was a much more grown juvenile).

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  4. What an amazing encounter! I can't believe that they were actually wrapping around your feet like that..Wonderful photos!

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  5. It is a great story and interesting encounter though with "hidden danger" if the mother appears. They wrapped around your feet as what is done by my pet Poodle. I like the feeling...

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  6. i lost my comment :( i should have copied what i wrote first before hitting post comment :( anyway, that was an extra-ordinary experience, i admire you for still coming to your senses despite the want to pet the baby raccoons. Looking at their pictures hugging your feet, looking for comfort, and reading your thoughts, I felt sad for them. I hope they did not lose their mom and their mom would find them. I believe you did the right thing, not touching then, and ran away from them, but you running sounded kind of both funny and scary. You got wonderful photos too. Truly an extra-ordinary animal encounter you've had.

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  7. what an awesome experience with wonderful pictures. i do believe that you did the right thing in running. who knows how the mother would've reacted.

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  8. OOhhh! That's really unbelievable, I never thought raccoon can be so adorable? The feeling must be overwhelmed when those cuties hugs your legs... What an amazing experience, and maybe once in the lifetime! Great story Ratty.

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  9. Ratty, what a great story and an awesome encounter with nature.
    It is a little sad however, those little guys should still be with their mother and usually mom does not get that far away. I really hope they are not orphans but I suspect they are.
    Great photos, and a great story.
    SQ

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  10. Oh how charming these raccoons are.... How I wish I can see and hold one as well. ^^

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  11. It's incredible how you were able to capture all those images and they are really so close and so cute... Not wild at all. Adorable!

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  12. Aw, I feel so bad for them, they probably felt so rejected but I understand you had to do that. What incredible photos though. They are so precious.

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  14. It almost seems as if there might be some joinging of families there--I've never heard of 6 young in just one!
    Perhaps these little guys have found eachother after losing mothers--and still crave some sort of comfort.

    Wouldn't it be nice to know what the real story behind this is!

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  15. I think you were wise running away before mama showed up! Even the little ones being that close would have scared me, although they are cute. You were very brave letting them crawl up your leg! Maybe they just liked having their picture taken.

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  16. That is a sweet story, Ratty. I enjoyed it, even if I had to be patient and keep tuning in day after day after day after..... (just kidding!).

    Those little raccoons are lucky that you are a nice human--it scares me to think that they could have been hurt by someone not so nice. I hope they learn quickly not to approach humans.

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  17. John - It was the fastest I've ever had to run in my life. I'm used to walking but not running, and my legs are just now feeling better after three days. It was admittedly funny, after thinking about it.
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    Ginnymo - I sure hope their mother was just out for a stroll. Your animals are probably still okay. The fact that you don't go up and pet them saves them I think. What you do gives us some of the best animal pictures ever.
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    Sharkbytes - The young ones seemed fat and well fed, so I think their mother wasn't gone for long. I'm still hoping she came back right after I left.
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    Icy BC - I was having trouble believing it myself. It was an amazing experience.
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    Rainfield - I was thinking of puppies when they were there too. It would be just like your pet poodle.
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    Betchai - It was very tempting to pet them. As soon as I began running from them I knew it would be a comical story. Then I began wondering about their mother and I still feel bad. I hope everything is okay with them.
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    PJ - Despite everything, I'm glad I ran too. I don't think the mother would have been happy. I'm not sure if she would have come after me, but I don't know.
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    Vanilla - It is times like that when I understand why people sometimes try to make a raccoon into a pet.
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    SquirrelQueen - I hope their mother is with them now, but if she didn't come back I hope they were old enough to find their own way. It would be easier for them without being friends with humans.
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    Details - They were beautiful little animals. The little ones are very cute, but the grown ones are very dangerous. Raccoons are some of the most intelligent animals.
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    Webbielady - They didn't seem wild when they were around me, but raccoons are very wild and very dangerous creatures. I feel the same as you though, they were adorable.
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    Poetic Shutterbug - I felt awful when I got away from them. I kept imagining the sad feelings of rejection they must have had.
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    Nina - Now I'm curious to know how many young a raccoon has. I desperately would like to know what the real story is. I'm avoiding going back there for the time being though.
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    Karen - It was actually kind of difficult getting one of them off of my leg. I had to shake the poor thing off a few times. I didn't want to touch any of them. I was worried how the mother would react to any smell on them.
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    Lin - Honestly I felt a little bad about drawing it out, but the benefit was that I could show so many more pictures and I was able to tell the full story.

    I hope they learn to stay away from humans too. Somebody who is nice to animals, like me, is maybe worse for them than a person who is a little meaner.

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  18. Wow! That was some encounter, eh? Enjoyed reading it. I was huffing and puffing for you as you were running up and down the hilly park. Those are so cute pictures of the raccoons. You were probably the only human to have an encounter with raccoons the way it happened. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Tasha

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  19. Tashabud - It might have been the greatest encounter of my entire life. I felt a little foolish running through the park like that and my legs hurt for two days after. Still, I'm glad I did it. I might very well be the only one to have ever gotten so close to raccoons like that. I know it's something I'll never forget.

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  20. I would have been so torn up over that encounter. I just don't know if I could have left them. I would think something for sure happened to the mom. But their tame nature makes me think somebody was feeding them previously and maybe dumped them in the park/forest to fend for themselves. It makes me a little sad for those babies. But you certainly could not take them home!!

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  21. Julia - Whatever happened with them, I hope they are able to learn to take care of themselves. I'm still having trouble just thinking about them.

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  22. I am behind in reading blogs for 2 or 3 days...so sorry if this is getting to you late....
    I feel bad you had to leave them, but it was probably for the better...I wouldn't have had the courage to do "the right thing".
    I'd probably still be there hugging on them.

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  23. The Retired One - It's never too late. I still feel bad for the raccoons. I'm going to go back again to make sure they're okay. I'm going to try to stay away from them this time though. The older they get the meaner they'll get.

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