In The Pink
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Oh this is so good for Fuzzbutt !!
all volunteer and they weren't really prepared to take on a tame raccoon, though they will put her to work in a sense - since she is so tame, she will be used as an educational animal.
To that end, Ed and I have set up an account at a local bank and the funds will be used for her care - food, medical, enrichment toys, whatever it is the refuge believes that she needs. They will also be used to help Olivia, another raccoon they have that is not quite as tame as Fuzzbutt. It's hoped that in time, Olivia and Fuzzubtt can become companions and that Olivia can show Fuzzbutt how to properly be a raccoon.
As I said, Fuzzbutt didn't make this choice for herself. Someone made it for her. Ed and I just made the decision that we needed to get her help and get her out of the wild before she died because she had no idea what to do. We are also in a position to financially help the people who are helping her. And that, too, is the right thing to do.
I've been offline most of the morning for one very simple reason - early this morning, Ed and I "caught" (and I use that term loosely) Miss Fuzzbutt and took her to her new home at the Center Wildlife Refuge and Sanctuary.
For the last several nights and early mornings, Ed and I have been sitting outside in our raccoon-proof suits, gaining Fuzzbutt's trust. Saturday night when Ed and I got home late, she was waiting for us by the back door so we figured the time was right. And early this morning, I took my usual seat on the deck so Fuzzbutt could crawl up into my lap for pets and treats of pineapple chunks.
For those who don't know wild animal behavior? This isn't it. She should have been running away from me or trying to bite me. Not rolling over so I could give her tummy rubs and scratch behind her ears. She was acting like a fully domesticated cat or dog. Closer to a cat, really.
Once I was certain she was secure in my arms, we took her right out to the car and Ed drove us to the wildlife refuge - no pet carrier necessary. As long as I held her? She was happy and content where she was. This speaks to a super-high degree of human interaction/human reliance in her past and there is no possible way she would have survived the winter.
Once at the sanctuary, she was snap tested for rabies and is negative. She also made quick friends of the workers and though she shows some attachment to me, she likes everybody. In fact there wasn't a single person there she didn't want to climb. So I think she'll be fine, though I am allowed to go and visit her.
She really enjoyed the car's heater this morning, so it is likely that she is accustomed to living inside and not outside. Also probably why she liked that dog-loo we put out for her.
Every test that the sanctuary ran indicates that she was likely born healthy but somehow separated from her mother - either by nature or human intervention. She is small because she lacked proper care and nourishment when she was younger. She shows no signs of broken bones or anything that would indicate abandonment by her mother. She also has three fairly distinct markings in common with "Dumpster" - the raccoon that was known to be kept by the fraternity over the summer. Meaning that, in all probability, our Fuzzbutt was once "Dumpster the Frat Trash Panda" in an online Instagram account that has since been taken down - likely after she was dumped in our area.
While I will miss her hanging out on our deck, Fuzzbutt is where she needs to be - safe and protected inside a wildlife refuge with people. And she does love people. A lot. Probably too much.
Someone asked me why Ed and I did this because a lot of people consider raccoons pests. And they can be. However in Fuzzbutt's case, human intervention prevented her from living the life she was meant to live as a wild raccoon. He becoming dependent on humans wasn't a choice she made. It was made for her by people who either meant well but did the wrong thing (if she was abandoned) or were selfishly stupid if she was forcibly taken from the wild.
Either way, it wasn't her fault. She became our responsibility when she was taken from what she knew as "home" and dumped into our yard. Again, that wasn't her choice but people being selfish and stupid. We also hated seeing her being attacked by other raccoons and suffering outside because she had no idea how to do what her instincts were asking her to do - meaning go forage, sleep in trees, etc. So we decided to be "not selfish" (for lack of a better term) and do what was best for her - which was take the time to catch her and take her somewhere safe.
What happened to her wasn't her fault. How Ed and I helped her adjust after that was our choice to correct someone else's mistake.
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