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Barrie police scoop up orphaned raccoons

Named Trash and Panda by local police officers who found them, the raccoons are safe and sound at a local wildlife centre

Two furry bandits have been relocated to Procyon Wildlife after being picked up by police over the weekend.

Two Barrie police officers found the seven-week-old raccoons wandering around a parking lot just off of Yonge Street in the city’s south end early Sunday morning.

“The babies were constantly trying to get the mothers attention and no animals (came),” said Barrie police communications co-ordinator Peter Leon.

After waiting about an hour, the officers assumed the mother had likely been struck and killed by a vehicle, he added.

The officers tried to find the mother and, unfortunately, they did find a deceased raccoon on a nearby street.

Const. Elise Claridge brought the babies to her home and safely housed them in two empty dog crates while making arrangements to get them to the Beeton-area wildlife centre as soon as possible. 

“They were very cautious about it and did everything they could to try to reunite them with their mom in case they just wandered away, but when they found the mother had been killed they realized that was likely why they were wandering,” said Leon, adding the pair remained together and looked pretty happy.

Leon told BarrieToday that Claridge, who has been a sworn member of the local police department since April 2019, said being able to do something for these animals and give them a chance is one of the highlights of her career so far.

“Our officers often find ourselves helping people in our community who are victims of crime or who simply need the police," Leon said. "To help an animal, whether it is a family pet or one that is wild is different and certainly not something police experience on a regular basis, but when you do, and you have an appreciation for animals and wildlife, it is something that can’t help put a smile on your face and make you feel good."

There’s no doubt the pair likely would not have survived out on their own for too long, he added.  

The furry duo  named Trash and Panda by the officers  will now have the chance to be cared for and get the nourishment and everything else they need to grow, Leon said.

“They know animals best down there, and it’s a happier ending because there’s no doubt with it being a busy street if they’d tried to get across the road anything could’ve happened," he said. "Trash and Panda are living life to the best that they can be.”