Evaluation of an Outdoor Facility for Maintaining Wild Raccoons

Up to 10 raccoons (Procyon lotor) were live-trapped and held within covered wire cages for about 1 month each season during June 1988-August 1989. Animals were fed 250-300 g of dry dog food daily and provided water ad libitum; percent change in body mass during captivity was used to evaluate the response of raccoons to the holding facility and maintenance protocol. Change in body mass at release varied from - 0.6 kg to 1.6 kg. Daily percent change averaged 2.7%; the largest total percent change in body mass of 70%. Percent change in body mass was independent of retention time, previous experience, age, sex, or season. The facility appeared to provide effective temporary housing as none of the animals were injured, nor was there any evidence of captive-related trauma or unusual behavior during captivity or following release.

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