Thought I’d share the leading article in our local paper last weekend:
For the love of wildlifeApril 13, 2009 – 12:35 PMThe Walton Sun
Walton County Sheriff’s deputies rescue and revive raccoon.
Sgt. Donald Savage has been with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office for 5.5 years, but he had never been dispatched on a raccoon rescue mission before last Sunday.
Robine Bascom lives in Gulfview Heights. About 8 a.m. Sunday, she discovered a raccoon’s head sticking out of a hole in a large dumpster at a construction site across the street.
The raccoon was still alive, but its entire body was submerged in water except for its head, which it had managed to stick out of the small hole.
Bascom surmises it had probably jumped into the water-filled dumpster during the night and couldn’t get back out. After swimming for maybe most of the night to keep its head above water, the poor critter became tired and was about to drown. It stuck its head through the small opening in order to breathe.
“It was obvious he was suffering,” said Bascom.
Bascom called Walton County Sheriff’s Department and asked for help to save the critter.
Deputies Lloyd Skipper and Michael Townsend were dispatched to the site and joined by Savage.
Skipper put a rope around the raccoon’s body and pulled while Townsend and Savage pushed on its head with a board.
“He growled and took a couple of chunks out of the board while we were pushing, but we had to get him out or he was going to die stuck like that,” said Savage. “He was probably exhausted and eventually passed out, which helped us to free him.”
When Skipper succeeded in pulling the raccoon free, it flopped lifelessly to the ground.
“He was pretty much gone when we got him out,” said Savage.
Skipper began pushing on the raccoon’s chest with his foot in an attempt at cardiac compression. After about 15 minutes, it finally began to breathe, then moved and finally set up and ran off into the woods.
Bascom saw the revived raccoon later on that evening at her garbage can, looking no worse for his misadventure.
“That was a first call for any of us for a raccoon,” said Savage. “I’ve had calls for snakes and all sorts of critters to get them out of people’s houses, but never to save a raccoon.”