For all the animal lovers out there, it is natural to feel the urge to help a creature in need. As wildlife rescue and control specialists, one of the most common calls we get has to do with raccoons stuck in places. And we have found that raccoons often times get stuck in communal garbage receptacles and commercial dumpsters.
So what should you do if you ever come across a raccoon that can’t free itself from the confinements of a dumpster? Well, what you shouldn’t do is give into your animal-lover instincts and interfere with the escape process. Instead, you need to protect yourself, others, and of course, the raccoon, by following the proper protocol. Continue reading to learn what that is!
Raccoons in Dumpsters
Raccoons will go to extremes to access food sources, and dumpster diving is one of them! In fact, dumpsters are a favorite choice among raccoons since they are excellent sources of leftover food scraps. The problem is, raccoons do not think about how they will get out of a dumpster before they dive right in. And when a dumpster does not have enough garbage in it, the raccoon cannot get out. This leads to an imprisoned raccoon.
What To Do
First and foremost, it is important to know that raccoons are common carriers of all sorts of infectious diseases and parasites, and can attack you with their sharp claws and teeth if provoked. This means you should never, under any circumstances, attempt to touch, trap, harm, or kill a raccoon. In fact, there are state and federal laws that govern wildlife tampering and transportation.
Instead, find something sturdy to place inside the receptacle for the animal to use to climb out. Be sure to keep your distance as soon as you place the item in the trash, and also be careful not to hit or harm the raccoon. Raccoons have great reach and can jump quite well, so if a dumpster is four feet deep, you will only need an item 2 feet tall or more to help the raccoon.
Try items like a milk crate, sturdy box, a wooden 2×4, a large tree branch, and even a couple full bags of garbage. Open the lid on the opposite side of the raccoon, place these items right next to the side of the receptacle, and then walk away calmly but quickly. If you remain nearby, the raccoon might not attempt to escape, or could possible attack you, out of fear. An attack is not likely, but it is important to protect yourself no matter what the circumstance might be.
If you cannot coax the raccoon out of the dumpster, your final step is to contact a DNR licensed and insured Indianapolis raccoon removal specialist for safe extraction and relocation services. They have the proper permits, training, and resources to safely and humanely help any raccoon in need.