Kelowna resident Joseph Mason came across a trio of baby raccoons — all alone and very sick — in his backyard on Tuesday of last week.
“I assumed it was a bird at first, when I came back later, it was still there,” Mason said.
He discovered the raccoon babies one by one. Conservation officers advised Mason to leave them be and let nature take its course.
But after three days and no sign of their parents, Mason decided to take action.
“I love animals and I couldn’t watch that suffering. I had to intervene even though a lot of people told me you’re not supposed to do that,” he said.
That’s when he called Dr. Moshe Oz at Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital in West Kelowna.
Dr. Oz sent his staff to the residence and they picked up the babies.
“We gave them lots of fluids, medications, antibiotics, we took care of them” Dr. Oz said.
“[My staff] were here for the whole weekend, we were here literally feeding them and nursing them for the whole long weekend.”
The raccoons have stolen a piece of each staff member’s heart at the vet clinic, where seeing such animals is a rare sight.
“We don’t see a lot of babies and raccoons in general,” Nicole St. Arnault, who works at the animal hospital, said.
All three of the raccoons are males and they’re very energetic, a welcome change compared to how they were when they first got there.
“They could barely even eat, they were so dehydrated and exhausted and hungry and just dying,” Dr. Oz said.
But it still may not be the happy ending everyone hoped for.
“Can we release them? Can we do something with them? I don’t know. We might need to make a tough decision,” Dr. Oz said.
The animals can’t be easily released back into the wild after becoming accustomed to humans.
“Is it a mistake? Maybe. But at least we tried,” Dr. Oz said.
“It’s a hard one because most people will say let’s leave it to nature… but if I know about it, I personally cannot just leave them.”
But Dr. Oz is hopeful a wildlife park will be able to take them in. He’s asking anyone with ideas on a potential future home for the raccoons to contact him.
Click here for details on how to reach Dr. Oz.