Orphaned raccoons being cared for by resident

Staff writer

Brandi Bosley said she cannot tell four of her five baby raccoons by their looks, but by their personality.

One often is reserved and shy, one constantly whines, another eats excessively, and another remains calm, while the runt of the litter does not leave her side.

“They’re just unique little guys,” Bosley said. “Never in a million years would I have thought I’d be taking care of baby raccoons.”

The raccoons first were discovered Friday by a BG Construction crew tearing down a trailer house at the Marion reservoir. An attempt to capture the family ended with the mother caught in the trap, which she drug under the trailer before dying.

Workers found the babies, and unsure of what to do with them, called Bosley, who works part-time for the construction company.

“This was a very unexpected situation,” she said. “I’ve never (rehabilitated) baby raccoons before. My dad and brother did.”

Initially Bosley researched the nearest rehabilitation centers to take the babies, finding the closest one in Salina. Unable yet to find a viable date to transfer the animals, she wants to make the trip as soon as possible.

Chris Johnson of Triple R Wildlife Rescue in Salina said she can receive anywhere between five and 30 calls like Bosley’s per week.

Johnson said depending on the situation, Bosley may have to surrender the animals and could face jail time or a fine.

Marion city code also says it is unlawful for any resident to maintain “any vicious or dangerous animal or any other animal or reptile of wild, vicious, or dangerous propensities,” which included raccoons.

By filing with the city clerk and obtaining written permission, a resident can house said animals with the provision there is no contact with at least 75 percent of owners and residents within 600 feet of the property.

“This is definitely temporary,” Bosley said.

In the meantime, she has used skills obtained working in a Wichita pet store to nurse the raccoons. In the past, she had nursed rabbits, birds, pigs, and alligators, and often played with a pet squirrel she called Spazz.

She has fed the raccoons baby formula and edible fruits and vegetables, and says feeding time takes anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes, two to three times per day.

With her background in animal care, she said she is considering obtaining a license to help animals more regularly.

“I can’t let wild animals die,” she said. “If I can save them I will.”

For other residents that come in possession of wildlife, Johnson encourages them to contact Triple R Wildlife at (785) 826-5864.

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