These Baby Raccoons Were Accidentally Transported Across The Country
The newborns were found in the back of a moving van, cold, starving, and near death, but were nursed back to health.
These baby raccoons almost didn't make it after they found starving and near death as newborns in a moving truck that had traveled from Florida to California.
Five of the six newborns that survived, without food or water for four days, were taken in by wildlife hospital Wildcare, where they were nursed back to health.
There were just days old when they arrived at the facility in San Rafael, California, in September. Their mother likely had crawled through a broken window to give birth, rescuers said.
Now, months later, they're at full health and having fun at Oakland Zoo, which agreed to care for the siblings during a 90-day quarantine while a permanent sanctuary or zoo facility can be found for them.
Rescuers had nursed the raccoons with the intent of releasing them back into the wild, however, they determined it wasn't possible.
"Unfortunately, after investigating every avenue possible it was determined that neither release here in California, nor transporting them back to Florida, would be legally possible due to Fish and Wildlife interstate regulations," Melanie Piazza, WildCare's director of animal care, said in a statement this week.
Until then, the zoo said the raccoons have nearly doubled their body weight since late November and are constantly challenging the staff to create stimulating enrichment to engage the "ridiculously smart" siblings.