A Baby Raccoon Story

Ahhh... imagine a holiday in Australia. It would be awesome wouldn’t it? But imagine returning home, after a very long flight, and after finally settling into your own bed you hear something go thump in your attic just over your head. Well that is just what happened to a couple living in the Evergreen community of Calgary, AB.

A Baby RaccoonWhile the homeowners were away, on an extended vacation, a female raccoon was investigating the roof of the Evergreen home. The expert climbing skills of a raccoon make gaining access to rooftops of little challenge for the raccoon. They’ll use the aid of a nearby tree to jump onto the roof, or they’ll simply climb up the downspouts. Once on the roof they will investigate it for possible den sites and there are several ways a raccoon may become an unwanted wild houseguest. One way they’ve learned is that chimneys are just like hollow logs, so they will climb down to nest at the bottom. In the spring this becomes a great place to give birth. Another possibility is the attic vents on the top of every home. A raccoon is very strong and can tear these open, if not right off the roof, therefore gaining access into the attic space. But the way our Evergreen Raccoon found access is probably one of the most common points of entry. She found a weak point in the soffits at a point where one roof meets with the underside of another, the roof/soffit interface. Once discovering a weak point in the soffits, it was no problem for the expectant female to tear an opening in the soffits big enough to gain access into the soffits and therefore the attic space.

Mom and Baby RaccoonsWhen the homeowners returned home, they found a female raccoon had decided to move into in their attic and had given birth. After the homeowners contacted Calgary Humane Wildlife Control (CHWC), for a solution, they thought our technicians must be a little nuts for wanting to get up into an attic to face off with a mother raccoon, but that’s the CHWC protocol during the spring months. During spring birthing months of raccoons, if there is any chance of babies being present, the attic has to be investigated to ensure the family unit remains intact.

Luck was not on the side of CHWC technicians the day they showed up to extract and exclude momma raccoon. She, and the babies, had gotten down into a space inaccessible to technicians. However, CHWC had a Plan B.

Mom and Baby RaccoonsIt was estimated that momma raccoon had been living in the Evergreen attic for over a month. Neighbours, as well as the homeowner, reported seeing at least two, quite mature babies on the roof just outside the entry hole. Knowing the babies were mobile, the team from CHWC used proven methods, which have been researched and used for more than 25 years, to ensure all animals, mom and babies, left the attic space. We also ensured they could not gain access back in.

The pictures are moments captured after all animals were out of the attic. Four babies in total were relocated by momma raccoon to her alternative den site.

If you, or a friend, ever experience a problem like a raccoon intrusion, or would like to take preventative measures to ensure it will never happen, the only call you need to make is to Calgary Humane Wildlife Control, 587-888-9453 (WILD).

By Ken Cheek, CHWC