A few weeks ago my neighbor called me to tell me to expect company. She had just seen a mother raccoon and several babies climbing over my fence from her yard. She said they were adorable, and they were with their little masked faces.
They were looking for water and any scraps of leftover cat or dog food they could find.
We would see them almost every night, and the mother teaching them to climb trees when in danger, etc. She had six babies to try to care for. My heart went out to her.
Then one day we saw three of the little ones on our back porch during the daytime -- looking for water in the 90-degree heat. That was strange, we thought, as we had only seen them at night. The mother was not with them and that too was different.
This morning, my neighbor called again to tell me she had found the mother dead under her house. Also they found a dead baby. We believe someone has put out poison -- killing them. This is very dangerous as someone's cat or dog could also get in the poison.
And it is cruel. Wouldn't it have been more humane to set a trap, catch them and have taken them to a more secluded area? Now we have several little orphans trying to survive without much knowledge since their mother was killed before they could learn much from her.
Yes -- they dig a little in my flowers and spill water all over trying to keep cool and get a drink. But isn't it worth it? After all, we do live in the mountains and with all the new building that's going on, where can these animals go?
It's a small price we should be willing to pay and try to live together. If not, move back into the city where even killing people is going on. Up here is God's country and we try to live together in peace with all things.
Carley B. Freeman