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RACCOON FAMILY TAKE OVER GYM!!


The title says it all right? Or does it...


A Momma raccoon and her three 7-8 week old kits broke into an apartment complex gym for a workout ... The Mom had been using the swimming pool at her leisure for evening swims… clearly ignoring the residents and staff… “Silly humans” Says Momma Raccoon. And then whataya’ know, she has babies and takes them to the gym for a workout too. Between sets the kits followed their diet plan by jumping off the weight machines for a quick drink of mothers milk, naturally being served on tap of course... then straight back to the machines, which they then followed up with a bout of sibling wrestling. After their fitness routine Mom and kits would snuggle up together and take ttheir regular daily siestas, ON the gym floor… What a sight to see. But the story doesn’t end there… I was called in as the villain to end their health club retreat... Who breaks up a family getaway? Unfortunately, duty called, sweet n' sour being the usual situation tastes.



RACCOON FAMILY BRAKE INTO GYM.

The tenants were clearly excited by the adorable visitors however when asked the question about sharing their gym and pool with them, the most extraordinary looks appeared on their faces... Although the tenants kids jumped up and down shouting, "Let them stayyy! Let them stayy! They can sleep in my roommm!" You can imagine the look the parents gave them... But whatever happened to equal opportunity for raccoons?? Ha! When I got there I could see the tenants and staff were all buzzing about the thrill of this fascinating Mother and her fiery fur-balls… And yes, they were fiery AND feisty as you will find out...


I have done a couple of hundred raccoon Mom and baby jobs but this was a unique story. So much so, that I texted a TV news contact about it. They naturally agreed and sent their news camera person to capture it!


The Dangers of Interfering with Raccoon Mom's and Kits...


When it comes to relocating Moms and babies it’s a complex situation with many variables to consider and every situation is unique… I like babies to be minimum 10 weeks old before I will do the eviction process. Once they are around that age many Moms will often relocate them herself, leaving on their own. Mothers preparing to give birth look for well protected spots where they wont be found or interfered with, away from predators, who will go for the young. Home and business owners are usually alerted early to raccoons that have ventured into their attic or crawl space and in many cases its a mother that has just given birth to 1-5 kits. This is thee most sensitive and nerve racking time for her so interfering by going anywhere near her is the last thing you want to do... It takes very little for a mother to abandon her babies out of fear and self preservation. And if she does the babies die if not recovered. Being the cause of such an act is unacceptable and not something you want on your conscience... Another bad situation caused by interfering is she may try and relocate the newborns. A pregnant mother usually spends considerable time scouting out a suitable place to give birth so to find a new place and relocate the babies makes them easy targets by predators as she will be out in the open...


In almost every case I ask property owners to simply wait a few weeks for the young to get to an appropriate age. But, in some situations like this one, there is simply no alternative.


How it went down...


My number one priority when faced with doing this is to keep Mom and babies together and cause absolute minimal stress to her or she will leave them. It began by my sneaking into the gym with a large trap. She was asleep with the kits on the floor. Then, I climbed up and sealed the roof vent where she broke through so she had no way of getting out. But just after I sealed it, I looked down and saw she woke up and saw me! I slowly got down keeping very calm and showing her I was no threat, and tip toed out the gym. She went back to sleep. I prayed she was okay with the disturbance...

The waiting game began… I left the gym and waited 2.5 hrs, then finally they all woke up. Mom and one baby went straight into the trap and started eating the bait. Yes!! I patiently waited…peering through the gym window, waiting for her to stand on the trap pressure plate so the door closed. She continued eating... "C'mon stand on it!" I said to myself. But she didn't??!! She had her fill then walked out with the baby… Seriously!? I left and waited another 45 mins for her to go back in. But when I came back and peeked through the window I could only see the babies … Huh? That's weird. Where's she hiding? I quietly went in, and to my absolute amazement, she had climbed to the top of the lateral pull down machine, (not to do a back work workout) and must have dived through the air, grabbing the edge of the vent I screwed in and SEALED, and ripped it off!! Then went back up and dived over again, and pulled herself through the hole!! ... I WISH I had that on camera. AMAZING. What a feat! More impressive than some raccoon climbing 20 stories up a skyscraper… I’ll get to that part in a minute… So my worst fear had happened… It appeared she had abandoned her babies because of my interference. It was so minimal but even that was too much for her. I was a predator in her mind coming to get her babies...


TV News Arrives...


Next thing, news camera person shows up. Awesome… This wasn’t how I envisioned the scenario playing out. Separating Mom from babies is wrong and tragic in every sense of the word and I had to correct it…somehow.


Due to the urgency of getting them all out I had to take the opportunity right there and then to capture the little ones. However, these little ones weren’t having it… Three electric little clumsy fur balls sprinted from one end of the gym to the other. They were frightened of course so with a soft duvet I finally caught raccoon baby number 1, and put him in the cage. Number 2 and 3 decided to climb the lateral pull down machine, all the way to the top and sit there… There climbing abilities were good but not great. So I backed off and waited for them to come down so they didn’t hurt themselves. Once they did it took a little more patience and two actual superman dives to grab them … Done! Hooray! All babies safely and successfully in a cage. Part 1 done. Now to try and reunite Mom with her babies...



Outback Zack Catches 3 Baby Raccoons


I did not know if she would come back but I played the card she would. So I used a trick where I put the babies in a box behind the trap where she could hear and see them. The babies were the lure to get her into the trap. I waited an hour and a half, but she didn’t return... By this time the babies were very restless so I had to release them and move to plan C. The gym owners were not happy but they didn't understand the process & there was no way I was giving up on getting the Mother back to the babies.


So I then set it up so she could get her babies out of the roof hole, when…if… she returned. I had scared her bad enough that if she came back she would grab them and relocate them herself which sometimes happens but not something you count on and not a method I'm fond of. When I returned in the morning I entered the gym quietly... I looked around... and saw that plan C had worked… She came back for them, and took them all out. : ) What a sigh of relief… Success!! And the news crew got it all on camera. :-)


Animals don’t always do what we want them to... So as animals deal with a situation presented to them, I have to also adapt to that ever-changing situation… Non-human animals are more predictable than humans, which is probably why I spend more time with animals. Lol


You'll never guess what happened next...


Yaay, success and the story is going to be on the news nationally across the USA and internationally!! Woohoo!! I was SOOO excited about that as it would help educate the masses on the respect for animals issue and would also be great for my career! The next day I get a message from my news friend, “Did you hear about the raccoon that climbed 20 stories up a skyscraper?” I said, “What? Ahh no. What are you talking about?” Thinking he's joking because that’s ridiculous no raccoon has ever or would ever climb a skyscraper. And then he says, “You’re not going to believe this, but it actually happened yesterday… and US news channels have taken that story over yours ...


...................... I was speechless. It was impossibe. WHAT??!! … I can honestly say, I was really upset... So much so that all this took place in June of 2018... That's right. I wrote this in June last year and am only releasing it now. It was so surreal I couldn't believe it was real. No raccoon in the history of the WORLD, has ever been reported climbing 23 stories up a skyscraper over 20 nail biting hours... And he chooses to do it on the same day as my story?? Crushed … face in hands ... end of the world feelings ... Friends asked me if I watched the videos and read about it. "Of course not!" I have looked after 100’s of his relatives and this is the thanks I get?! He could have at least chosen a different day!


Anyway, I hoped my story would be resubmitted at a different date to the TV News Networks and they go with it but its rare that happens I was told… and its now almost October 2019 so it doesn't look good. The important thing is that the Mom and babies were safe, back together, and went looking for a new health club to spend their summer at. : )


There is a video and lots of pics but I chose this one for now. It's my birthday & I had 9 raccoons at my place last night. 4 Moms & 5 babies. It reminded me of this so I thought it fitting to finally tell the story.


P.s I adore Raccoons. I spend more tie with them than any other wild animal. I eventually calmed down about losing the news story... and of course, I forgave Mr. daredevil Spidercoon...eventually



RACCOON SCALES SKYSCRAPER