Raccoon Caught in Trap on Ohio Porch Was Attacked, Left With Infected Bite Marks Over Body

A raccoon was attacked and left with infected bite marks after it got caught in a trap for over a week on the porch of an abandoned house in Ohio.

Volunteers with the Wildlife Emergency Services Team (WEST) of southwestern Ohio rescued the animal. They were informed by a vet at Middletown Animal Hospital that the raccoon had likely been attacked while it was stuck on the porch for days, unable to get free from the trap.

In an update on the animal's condition posted to Facebook on Thursday , WEST said that the vet indicated numerous injuries on the raccoon were thought to be infected bites from an animal attack. The raccoon's rear left foot had no sensation at all and suspected nerve damage.

Images posted to Facebook of the raccoon being cared for also showed abscesses on its shoulder. WEST said they were concerned the injuries could become septic despite a round of antibiotics. The Facebook post also showed the raccoon snacking on soup and water provided by the volunteers.

"Tomorrow he gets mini marshmallows as a treat. Raccoons and mini marshmallows are a thing, in case you didn't know," WEST said in the Facebook post.

Raccoons are found throughout North America and abundant on the continent. Their population densities can reach up to one or two animals per acre.

WEST volunteers intervened to help after receiving a call on Monday night saying the raccoon had been living on a residential porch near Middletown for over a week.

On arriving at the scene, WEST President Beth Kelly found it had a foot stuck in what seemed to be a metal trap. She fed the raccoon and was able to free it from the trap with the help of fellow staffer Holly Markwell.

Regulations for trapping fur-bearing animals like raccoons in the U.S. are managed at the state level, with trappers in many states needing licenses. In Ohio, animals considered "nuisance" wildlife—including raccoons—can be legally trapped without a license. State law says that the trapped animals must then be released back on the homeowner's property or euthanized in a humane way.

"Raccoons get into lots of different situations (stuck in car engines and heads stuck in jars are two we've dealt with) because they're naturally inquisitive and intelligent, but the most frequent calls we get about raccoons, by far, involves them being inside houses," Kelly told Newsweek.

"Rehabbers can't help in those situations as it's illegal for us to accept nuisance wildlife for rehabilitation. Ohio law does not prohibit the use of traps, but any nuisance animal that is trapped must be released on the owner's property... It is illegal to relocate nuisance wildlife," Kelly said.

"People who reach out to us for help with nuisance wildlife are always confounded when we tell them about these laws, but their purpose is to prevent the spread of diseases that could happen with relocation."

Raccoons can carry diseases including rabies, parvovirus, panleukopenia and raccoon roundworm. Kelly said that despite this there were ample opportunities for people to minimize the nuisance and any potential risks caused by raccoons living in proximity to humans.

"As far as living harmoniously with native wildlife, it is entirely possible if people secure trash cans and repair any openings in their homes where coons or squirrels or bats might get in," she said.

Raccoon saved by Ohio wildlife volunteers
Raccoon saved by Ohio wildlife volunteers. The animal was stuck on the porch of an abandoned house for over a week after its leg became caught in a trap. Wildlife Emergency Service Team of Southwestern Ohio/Facebook