Lounging in a hammock is just simply the best! Not to mention a quick dinner with mom.
These are photos of some of the very tiny raccoons that inhabit all of the Florida Keys. The smallest of which average 4 to 6 pounds in the lower Keys. The largest raccoons reside in the upper Keys and average about 9 pounds.
We have to use preemie nipples when they are first born and for several weeks. We then switch to regular nuk nipples. They love their bottle and nurse basically sitting upright, as you can see in the photo. Mom raccoon sits up and nurses. She cradles the babies as they nurse.
Our babies nurse for about four or five months. They have begun to wean by then, but have not gotten their adult teeth as yet. Somewhere around five months they lose their baby teeth rather quickly, and get their adult teeth. By that time, they are weaned completely. Raccoons are not ready for release at this time, however. They remain with mom until they are about a year old. Often the daughters will remain with mom for another year, helping her to care for the next year's brothers and sisters. Raccoons are a very tight-knit family.
Unfortunately, babies do come into rehab and it is important that they are given the proper care to ensure their survival. Just as in any emergency care situation, the ABC's are assessed first. Then bleeding issues, if any, and most importantly, hydration. Any living thing that is not properly hydrated for a period of time, will die. People can live about three or four days without water and that holds true for other mammals as well. Without proper hydration, food absorption can not take place. Offering formula without correcting dehydration first can have disasterous effects. Getting an injured or orphaned mammal to a qualified rehabber is of paramount importance in preventing a needless death. Get help from someone that specializes in that species.