Who is she, and where did she come from? Kim Wickers of ‘A Little Bit of Wildlife’ holds the unnamed baby raccoon that was found wandering and starving across from the location of the downed old-growth Valley oaks at the Kern County Branch Library building site.
By Patric Hedlund
Terry and Cliff Kelling of Frazier Park had been noticing the raccoons in Frazier Mountain Park below their house on Park Drive for awhile. Cliff had noticed them, he told his wife, running from the big old oak trees at the library building site to the one in the middle of Park Drive. Then, after the removal of two 200-400 year-old oaks on June 12, Terry suddenly found a baby raccoon, skinny, dehydrated and apparently not yet able to eat solid food, hiding in her garden. Her house is just down the road from the building site, near the Boys & Girls Club on Park Drive.
At first Kelling thought the kit might be from a nest in an ancient oak tree in the yard of neighbor Barbara Lewis. But Lewis said “ours are much older.” The neighbors now believe it is likely that the youngster was separated from her mother when the oaks were cut down. Lewis took the kit to Patrice Stimpson, Kim Wickers, Suzy Goulart and Vickie Bingaman, who have just received state and federal licensing under Tehachapi Wildlife Rescue to enable them to legally work to rehabilitate wild animals that have been injured or separated from their parent.
“This is a dream that was supposed to happen in about two years,” Wickers said in an interview June 26. She said members of the group attended training in Tehachapi and made the arrangement to work under that group’s umbrella. But the need to respond came more quickly than expected.
The small raccoon needs a special kitten formula to nurse it back to health. That costs $22 a can, which lasts about a week. The group is considering running a naming contest for the baby, asking that each entry be put into a jar with a donation, to help with the costs.
Next week: Who is A Little Bit of Wildlife?
This is part of the July 02, 2010 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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