LONGMONT - It's not simply just a fun pool day for these baby raccoons. It might not look like it, but they're currently being trained to survive in the wild.
These raccoons are 11 out of seventy at the Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Animals are brought here when they become orphaned. They are taken care of by staff members, until they are ready to be released back into the wild.
"What is dirt like? What is grass? Don't eat this. Eat this," Peshock said. Lea Peshock is an animal caretaker at the center. It's her job to teach the raccoons skills their mothers would have taught them.
It's the reason for the pool. Peshock and her team hides bugs, mealworms, and peanuts underneath the dirt. It's to teach the raccoons how to dig, an important survival skill.
"The reason we rehabilitate and go through the trouble of what we do to get them released is to try to make it as successful as possible," she said. "If we're not here, these babies are certain to die."
Peshock works hard to get them back into the wild, but it's not always easy for her.
"When I see these little ones that I've raised since they were just little neonates...to release is sometimes bittersweet," she said. "It's like a mom sending a kid off to college."
The Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center will have an event on Sept. 29 called "Wild Night" to raise money. Tickets are available at their website: http://www.greenwoodwildlife.org/
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