Raccoon Trapped on Ohio Porch for a Week Dies From Injuries Despite Rescue

A raccoon that was trapped on the porch of a house in Ohio for a week has died from its injuries.

The raccoon was cared for by the Wildlife Emergency Services Team of southwestern Ohio (WEST) for four days, but succumbed to various injuries and a septicaemia infection on Friday night, the group said.

The charity won support from Facebook users after posting footage and images showing their rescue efforts to free the raccoon and treat its injuries.

Trapping animals that can be considered a nuisance, including raccoons, is legal without a license in Ohio.

The raccoon had got its foot caught in a metal animal trap on the porch of an abandoned house near Middleton. WEST filmed the rescue and took it to its rehabilitation center for treatment. They found it was suffering from several injuries, including lesions across its shoulder.

The charity group said among the injuries the raccoon was treated for were bite marks. They said the raccoon was probably attacked by other animals while it was stuck in the trap and vulnerable.

They gave it food including chicken soup and marshmallows, and took it to a nearby vet who prescribed the antibiotics in the hopes of saving the raccoon's life.

However, in an update posted to Facebook on Saturday WEST said the raccoon had died: "Sometimes wildlife rehabilitation is about raising sweet, adorable babies and watching them grow and thrive, and then releasing them into the wild. It's the most wonderful feeling in the world.

"Sometimes wildlife rehabilitation is about alleviating suffering and helping an animal end its life in the most comforting, loving way possible. Sadly, that is what happened with the raccoon we rescued Monday. Despite wonderful care, his many wounds did not respond to antibiotics as we had hoped. He developed septicaemia and passed away last night."

WEST President Beth Kelly said that wildlife services were unable to help in many cases involving raccoons because under Ohio state law it is illegal to relocate nuisance wildlife—any trapped animal must be released back onto the owner's property or humanely euthanized.

The law exists in part to curb the spread of infectious diseases that raccoons can carry. Among them are rabies, parvovirus, panleukopenia and raccoon roundworm. The potential risks to people posed by raccoons and other "nuisance" wildlife can be mitigated by observing a number of basic habits, Kelly said.

"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 previously told Newsweek.

Raccoon dies in care of Ohio volunteers
A raccoon dies in care of Ohio volunteers. The Wildlife Emergency Services Team of southwestern Ohio rescued the animal after it was found trapped on the porch of an abandoned house. Wildlife Emergency Services Team of southwestern Ohio/Facebook